Former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa drew the ire of the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers for some notable omissions from the National League All-Star game roster. Apparently those old NL Central rivalries have some staying power.
Johnny Cueto and Zach Greinke lead the list of deserving players that failed to make the National League squad.
Cueto is doing his best to keep the Reds atop the National League Central. He caused a bit of an uproar when he lashed out at Tony La Russa for not selecting him to the All-Star squad. Cueto's comments made him sound like a sore loser, but his stats make a compelling case. Cueto is 9-5 with a 2.35 ERA in 17 starts.
Greinke will be one of baseball's most sought-after pitchers at the trade deadline, but he didn't get the All-Star call from National League manager Tony La Russa. Greinke is 9-2 with a 3.08 ERA in 17 starts for the Brewers.
Greinke and Cueto aren't the only NL Central starters overlooked by LaRussa. James McDonald has been a major force behind the resurgent Pittsburgh Pirates. McDonald, a 27-year-old right-hander, has racked up eight victories and struck out 90 batters in the season's first half.
LaRoche's .251 batting average may not seem All-Star worthy, but his bat has been a steadying force in the middle of the Washington Nationals' lineup. Washington has played large parts of the season without run producers Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse, and Jayson Werth, leaving LaRoche to knock in runs. The veteran first baseman has obliged with 15 home runs, 50 RBIs, and a .502 slugging percentage. Bryan LaHair of the last-place Cubs is the reserve first baseman for the All-Star game.
Lowrie was traded to Houston during the winter after struggling to establish himself in Boston. Lowrie has responded with 15 doubles and 14 home runs in half a season with the Astros. Lowrie is a more deserving selection than keystone partner Jose Altuve.
*Information gathered from http://www.baseball-reference.com