Quick rules on how I comprise the teams:
- Two teams, one American League team, and one National League team
- There are 36 spots on each team (three first basemen, three second basemen, three third basemen, three shortstops, nine outfielders, three catchers, six starting pitchers, four relief pitchers/closers, one relief pitcher/set-up, and one DH-the NL spot is taken by the player with the highest average who did not make the team at any position)
- Every team gets a representative. No exceptions. If a player gets snubbed by a guy who is only there because a team needed a rep, then that's sadly the way it goes.
Why start with the bullpens?
Because it's relatively simple. The top four guys with the most saves are automatically on the teams. Usually.
Last year, I started with the American League staff, this time, I'll begin the National League closers. On this year's team are:
- Heath Bell, Padres (6-4, 2.71, 42 saves)
- Francisco Cordero, Reds (2-6, 2.16, 39 saves)
- Ryan Franklin, Cardinals (4-3, 1.92, 38 saves)
- Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers (7-2, 2.61, 36 saves)
The American League closers for the 2009 team are:
- Brian Fuentes, Angels (1-5, 3.93, 48 saves)
- Joe Nathan, Twins (2-2, 2.15, 47 saves, and he still could get in one more game on Tuesday)
- Mariano Rivera, Yankees (3-3, 1.76, 44 saves)
- Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox (1-1, 1.85, 38 saves)
The NL Middle Reliever for the 2009 team will be the Jeremy Affeldt of the San Francisco Giants. He is the 2009 NL leader in holds with 33, had a 2-2 record, sports a dazzling 1.73 ERA, and struck out 55 batters.
The AL Middle Reliever for the 2009 team will be Matt Guerrier of the Twins. The AL leader in holds in 2009 with 33, Guerrier went 5-1 this year with a 2.26 ERA and 47 strikeouts (also saved a game).
So right now, we've named the bullpens for each team. Who will fill out the rest of the rosters?
On Tuesday, I will name the six starting pitchers that will round out the pitching staffs on each team.
By Wednesday, every team will get a representative as I announce just some of the players who will take spots on both leagues' rosters.
And finally on Thursday, I will round out the rest of the rosters and introduce the complete National and American League teams.
Wait and see. It's going to look good I promise.