With the All-Star game coming up, I thought I would go ahead and knock out the two All-Star Factory Team Sets from 2014 that supposedly feature 2013 All-Stars. Rather than compare Series One, Opening Day and the team set like I've been doing, I'm going to compare the set to the actual game. I'll go in order of the corresponding position number, starting with the pitchers and end with the
Last week, the American League lineup featured several players who didn't even make the squad. Let's see how the National League stacks up.
The American League set only had three pitchers. The National League matched that, and raised them two. The actual National League All-Star roster featured 15 pitchers, 8 of which were used in the game. Starter Matt Harvey was left out of the set. Clayton Kershaw pitched a perfect third inning. Jose Fernandez struck two in a perfect sixth. Craig Kimbrel gave up three hits and a run in the 8th inning.
Adam Wainright made the team but did not play, while Stephen Strasburg was not a part of the roster.
The NL roster carried three catchers. Starter Yadier Molina was not featured in the set. Buster Posey replaced Molina in the sixth inning while Brian McCann didn't get into the game.
The first NL starter to show up in the set is Joey Votto. He was replaced by Paul Goldschmidt in the 5th inning. Freddie Freeman made the roster and the set but not into the game while Allen Craig made the roster, came on as a pinch hitter in the game but didn't make the set..
Even though the NL had three second baseman on their roster and two that played in the game, none of them made the set. Brandon Phillips was the starter and was relieved by Matt Carpenter. Marco Scutaro made neither the game nor the set.
Troy Tulowitzki got the start at shortstop and was taken out for Jean Segura in the busy 6th inning switches. Hanley Ramirez? Not on the squad at all. Everth Cabrera was the third shortstop on the roster.
David Wright was the starter at third base and was replaced in the 8th by Pedro Alvarez, the only other third baseman on the roster.
From left to right, the starters in the outfield were Carlos Gonzalez, Bryce Harper and Carlos Beltran (who didn't make the set). Andrew McCutchen pinch ran for Beltran in the 4th, took over center field from Bryce Harper, who moved to right field.
Neither Giancarlo Stanton or Ryan Braun were on the roster.
Domonic Brown eventually replaced Car-Go in left field while Carlos Gomez filled in for Harper in right.
Michael Cuddyer was the NL DH but didn't make the cut for the card set. Though listed as a first baseman on the roster, Allen Craig as mentioned earlier pinch hit for Cuddyer.
As with last week, I was not real happy with this set. Two positions completely not represented but four guys who didn't even make the roster? So here are the 17 who I thought should have been used to make this set.
With the American League, it was pretty easy to go with the starter, winner and closer. On the losing side, it was a little tougher to choose. I will go with the starter Matt Harvey, keep Kershaw and Fernandez and ditch the other three. It hurts a little to cut the horizontal Kimbrel card but he didn't have a great outing.
Again, I have to go with the starter here and add Yadier Molina to the set. He's been replaced for the 2014 All-Star game so that means he'll probably make next year's set. Posey stays unless I need the roster spot later.
I'll keep starter Votto and Goldschmidt but ditch Freeman since he didn't make it into the game. That might save Posey's catcher spot.
Maybe Topps had it right at second base by not including anybody. I mean, a Red and a Cardinal? Blech.
I'm not a fan of Brandon Phillips at all but as the starter at second, he makes the set. I don't have his Series Two card so I had to use the Opening Day version. And with Matt Carpenter as the backup, he gets a card too.
I'll leave starter Troy Tulowitzki in at shortstop but I'll be damned if I have to make another NL Central card for back up Jean Segura. Ok, fine.
Starter David Wright gets to stay. And even though Pedro Alvarez is another NL Central guy, he had a nice horizontal card so I went ahead and gave him an All-Star logo too.
In the outfield, I'll keep starters Harper and Car-Go and NL MVP McCutchen. Right field starter Carlos Beltran is shown in a Yankees uniform though he was a Cardinal for the All-Star game last year so I will leave him out.
The National League doesn't generally use a DH, but they did for the All-Star game. Cuddyer was snubbed in the real set, but gets a logo tacked onto his card here.
Last week, I made a couple of extra AL cards because I thought I would make the whole team. Since I knew I wasn't going to do that, I didn't make as many this week. The only extra I made should be pretty self explanatory.
Though he didn't get into the game last year, Travis Wood was the Cubs only representative. He didn't get an All-Star card in last year's Topps Update set either.
This year, the Cubs have two and a half representatives in Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Jeff Samardzija (the half). Go NL!