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All-Star Game

Justin Turner & the All-Star Game selection process

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Justin Turner has All-Star worthy numbers in 2015, but will he be named to the midsummer classic?
Justin Turner has All-Star worthy numbers in 2015, but will he be named to the midsummer classic?
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball will release its final National League All-Star voting update on Tuesday, and there will be no Dodgers position players likely to start for the National League. The starting position players will be announced at 4:30 p.m. PT on ESPN on Sunday, followed by the reserves for both teams announced at 4 p.m. on Monday, also on ESPN.

Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson have gotten most of the attention thus far in voting updates, and Yasmani Grandal has been a distant fourth place among NL catchers. But let's see what kind of chances Justin Turner has of making the midsummer classic.

But first, a review of how the teams are selected. Inevitably blame for selections and snubs often falls on the managers - the World Series skippers from the previous year, so Bruce Bochy for the NL and Ned Yost for the American League team - but they don't have as strong a say as one might think.

Fan vote

Fans vote for the starting position players - eight in the National League, nine (including the designated hitter) in the American League

Let's assume for a moment that last week's starters will be voted in:

C: Buster Posey, Giants
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
2B: Dee Gordon, Marlins
3B: Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
SS: Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals
OF: Bryce Harper, Nationals
OF: Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins*
OF: Matt Holliday, Cardinals

*With Stanton injured, that will open up another spot.

Player vote

The players, plus managers and coaches, get to vote for 16 players in the NL and 17 in the AL. They vote for a first and second choice at all eight (or nine) starting positions, then five starting pitchers and three relievers. If a player vote winner was already selected as a starter, the second-place finisher gets the spot.

Using the fan vote as a loose guide combined with some guess work, here are possible player vote selections:

C: Yadier Molina, Cardinals
1B: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
2B: Kolten Wong, Cardinals
3B: Todd Frazier, Reds
SS: Brandon Crawford, Giants
OF: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
OF: Justin Upton, Padres
OF: Joc Pederson, Dodgers

I have no idea whether Pederson will be voted in here by the players, but he has a pretty good case. Ryan Braun has a good case, but shot his credibility wad with his PED defense, so don't look for him near the top of any player vote any time soon.

SP: Max Scherzer, Nationals
SP: Zack Greinke, Dodgers
SP: Gerrit Cole, Pirates
SP: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
SP: Madison Bumgarner, Giants

RP: Trevor Rosenthal, Cardinals
RP: Aroldis Chapman, Reds
RP: Mark Melancon, Pirates

Manager selection

Nine NL players and seven AL players will then be chosen by Bochy and Yost. Though they will be in consultation with teams as well as the commissioner's office, the collective bargaining agreement stipulates the All-Star managers have "final authority for the selection of additional players."

Five of these players have to be pitchers.

This is where is also gets tricky, because every team has to be represented, so that could take precedence over a possibly more deserving candidate. With my guesses above, we still need someone from the Rockies, Brewers, Mets, Braves and Phillies.

Nolan Arenado probably should be starting at third base, so he's an easy choice from Colorado.

Milwaukee seems like a choice between Braun or closer Francisco Rodriguez, with a 1.61 ERA and 15 saves.

With New York, Matt Harvey has the star power, but Jacob deGrom has been better. Both could be deserving.

Atlanta has Shelby Miller, with a 1.94 ERA in 15 starts, and the always-productive Freddie Freeman at first base.

Philadelphia is down to closer Jonathan Papelbon or third baseman Maikel Franco, hitting a robust .304/.349/.559 in 172 plate appearances.

Which brings us back to Turner, who is hitting .320/.392/.584 with 11 home runs in 66 games and 199 plate appearances. He's hitting better than Franco in more playing time than Franco, so should be above him on the roster totem pole.

The whole point of this exercise was to see if Turner had a reasonable shot at being named an All-Star. He is either ninth (FanGraphs) or 10th (Baseball-Reference) in Wins Above Replacement in the NL this season even in his limited playing time, so Turner is definitely worthy, though last I checked most All-Stars aren't chosen by WAR.

Back to this final manager list, first filling in players on teams that need a representative:

3B: Nolan Arenado, Rockies
Pos:
Pos:
Pos:

SP: Shelby Miller, Braves
SP: Jacob deGrom, Mets
SP:
RP: Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers
RP: Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies

That other pitcher could be Harvey, it could be Michael Wacha, who has 10 wins. Who knows? That might not affect the chances for Turner, unless it means Franco makes it for the Phillies, taking a position player spot away.

Those final three position player spots could be where Adrian Gonzalez makes it. He's still eighth in the league in RBI, with Braun seventh and another possibility.

Bochy is managing, and he has either Joe Panik (.310/.379/.459) or Matt Duffy (.303/.349/.491) if he wants to add another infielder from his own team.

One of those three spots will go to a third catcher, which likely means Grandal or Derek Norris of the Padres.

This is where the Stanton injury could open up a spot for Turner, if someone like Braun is named as a replacement that wouldn't take up a spot that could otherwise go to Turner, whose positional flexibility in the infield could be seen as a plus for selection.

Final vote

After the 33-player rosters are announced next Monday, five more players in each league will be in the "Final Vote," where fans get to vote for the 34th and final roster spot. This is another avenue for Turner to make it, or maybe Gonzalez or Pederson depending on how the rest of the roster shakes out.

The 2015 All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.