All-Star Game insider
Tuesday, July 15 • 7 p.m.
Joe Mauer has been behind the plate in five All-Star Games (and played first base in one, too, portending his eventual move), but the American League will have to find a new catcher when the Midsummer Classic comes to Target Field in July. Fortunately, it’s a deep position for the AL. Here are six catchers who could make an extra trip to Minneapolis this summer:
Brian McCann, Yankees: The former Braves slugger has made seven appearances for the NL All-Stars and he now plays in New York, so despite his slow start — McCann is batting .195 and had no homers before Saturday, when he hit two after getting a vote of confidence from manager Joe Girardi — he’s probably the favorite to win the voting and start for his new league this year.
Carlos Santana, Indians: Like Mauer, Cleveland’s cleanup hitter has switched positions, getting most of his starts at third base this year. But he’s caught twice, too, and could make his first All-Star appearance at either position. First, he will have to start hitting. Santana hasn’t homered and is batting just .179.
Salvador Perez, Royals: Now here’s someone who’s hitting. Perez is hitting .375, entering Friday leading the entire AL, and he won a Gold Glove last season. Hard to imagine him not making his second All-Star team this year.
Jason Castro, Astros: He was on the 2013 AL team, albeit as Houston’s lone representative. Though he was off to a .156 start entering Saturday, Castro has enough power (18 homers last year) that’s it’s possible he could earn a second All-Star berth, this time solely on merit.
Matt Weiters, Orioles: At 27, the two-time All-Star appears primed for a big year. He had a strong spring, had a hit in all eight games he had played in this year and was batting .367 through the first week, with two homers.
A.J. Pierzynski, Red Sox: He hasn’t been an All-Star since 2006 and is likely to be overlooked amid several other more obvious All-Star candidates from the world champs. But it’s just fun to imagine the reception the still-unpopular Pierzynski might get if he could make a triumphant All-Star return in front of fans who never fail to boo him.