Angels irked with Erick Aybar’s All-Star exclusion
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Howie Kendrick voted for Erick Aybar, didn’t you?
Aybar’s Angels teammates made no secret of the fact that they were – and still are – upset about the All-Star game snub. While no one wanted to devalue the shortstops that were named to the American League roster, they feel that theirs is equally as deserving.
"He’s having a great year but sometimes guys get overlooked because there are so many guys," Kendrick said. "I thought he should have had an opportunity to make it too."
Aybar is in the midst of a career season and has been an integral piece in the Halos’ resurgent season. From his dazzling array of diving and spinning defensive plays to his hustle at the plate, he’s earned high marks all around.
"In my mind, he’s one of the top three shortstops in baseball," said Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia. "He doesn’t get a lot of notoriety but there’s no doubt that he can play with anybody in the game today."
He has the numbers to prove it, as well.
Aybar and Troy Tulowtizki are the only two shortstops with at least 45 runs scored and 40 RBI. He knocked one in Monday night at Angel Stadium in the Angels’ victory over the Blue Jays to give him 44 on the season, the best number of all American League shortstops.
With six home runs already this season, he’s matched his total from 2013 and his defense in the infield has been stellar. His .985 fielding percentage is the third-best among all major league shortstops and he and Kendrick, the longtime Halos’ double play tandem, have helped the Angels to the third-best fielding percentage (.987) in the league.
Not to mention the small things that people don’t see. In baseball, tiny mistakes often lead to big disasters, but that’s never a worry with the detail-oriented Aybar.
"He makes a lot of tough plays look easy," Scioscia said. "And I think the fact that just the simple 6-4 feeds that make sure we start the double play right, the way that he is in the cutoff position where he should be – his experience has made him a very polished player and he has that same skill set so he’s playing at a high level."
— Mike Trout (@Trouty20) July 8, 2014
But All-Star selections are largely based on fan votes. Heart, hustle and clubhouse attitude don’t get you selected to an All-Star game. Aybar has been been having a stellar season but he’s been doing so somewhat quietly with limited exposure on the West Coast.
"He kind of goes out there and lets his actions speak for him," Kendrick said.
"Knowing what (AL manager John Ferrell) is going through, managers do not have the picks that everyone thinks," Scioscia said. "This selection process is very regimented, it’s already slotted in the vast majority of the cases."
Although it might bother his teammates, it doesn’t effect Aybar himself. He shows no signs of slowing down his production so Kendrick and everyone else will just have to save their votes for next season.
"He doesn’t let not being on the All-Star team or anything else dictate how he plays," Kendrick said. "If he keeps playing this way next season, I’ll vote for him again."