Unless you count coaches and trainers, the Royals haven’t had multiple all stars since 2003 when Mike Sweeney and Mike MacDougalrepresented KC at U.S. Cellular Field. This year, the Royals have multiple candidates for the All Star game, including a couple of pitchers.
Let’s start with the guy that the broadcasters have been trumpeting as an All-Star candidate all year. With the Midsummer Classic approaching, Gordon has been mired in the middle of a terrible slump as he’s hit .167/.265/.196 since topping out on May 22 at .352/.387/.522. This past month has probably doomed Gordon’s All Star chances, but it’s fun to see where he ranks compared to the other AL outfielders. In terms of All Star balloting, Gordon is currently ranked eighth. He would need to make up 400,000 votes on Nick Markakis in order to jump into third place in the voting. It’s much more likely that Gordon would need Jim Leyland or the players to select him.
The Royals young catcher has been very good this season and is only one of seven AL catchers to qualify for the batting title. Despite his excellent batting average, Perez is not in the top five of catcher voting. Part of this is due to his low walk rate, but most of it is due to his lack of national media exposure. Don’t be surprised to see Perez representing the Royals in future All Star games, but it probably won’t happen this year.
The likely pick to represent the Royals in the All-Star game has earned his keep this season. Despite the poor record, Shields has exceeded expectations in Kansas City thus far. His ERA through his first 15 starts is a career low 2.72 and he is demonstrating the same kind of skills he showed in Tampa Bay, alleviating concerns about his home/road splits as a Ray. The pitchers for the All Star game are selected by manager and with Jim Leyland seeing Shields often this year, his chances of being selected are probably higher.
The Royals ERA leader this year has also exceeded expectations after having a horrible year in Anaheim. The home runs are still there, but Santana has a career low walk rate and is being supported by excellent defense to mitigate the long balls. A lot of his improvement this year has come because of an improved fastball. He’s seen his velocity climb from an average of 91.7 last year to 92 mph. More importantly, Santana has been using his fastball to get ahead so he can utilize his excellent slider.
Prior to the games on Sunday, James Shields and Ervin Santana had the sixth and third best ERA in the AL, respectively. If these numbers hold, it would be surprising to see the Royals without two All Star representatives this year.