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Koji Uehara: Boston's default All-Star

By rule, the Red Sox will have an All-Star in 2015. It's just hard to find a player who really deserves the spot.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox are something of a train wreck right now, there's no denying that. It's not all that surprising, then, that they're not exactly raking in the All-Star votes. In fact, at the moment, they're barely represented. No Red Sox player ranks higher than third at their position in the vote, leaving it unlikely they'll place a player in the starting nine this season.

And really, it's hard to second-guess the voters here. The Red Sox aren't really All-Star quality this year, and while individuals have had bursts of excellence, none have really lasted the season. In fact, were it not for the mandate that every team have an All-Star, the Sox might well go home empty-handed.

The lineup's best candidate is easily Dustin Pedroia. At the plate, he's been solidly above-average even if he hasn't met expectations set by his early-season explosion. In the field, if there seem to have been a few more gaffes than usual, he still produces fantastic plays on the regular. The problem is, he's facing pretty stiff competition. Just within the American League, he's being outproduced at the plate by Brian Dozier, Logan Forsythe, and Jason Kipnis, and even Jose Altuve and Ian Kinsler are valued above him by fWAR.

Next in line would probably be...part-timer Brock Holt? Maybe Hanley Ramirez banking purely on the flash of the home run total? There's just no argument to be made for anyone.

The rotation, obviously, holds almost no promise either. None of the original starters can claim an ERA as low as 4.00, and while fans would love to see Eduardo Rodriguez become worthy of a spot as the season continues, he's obviously starting much too late to get any consideration now.

That leaves...the bullpen, which is probably where the league will find their much-needed Red Sox All-Star.

Granted, today is not the best day to be singing Uehara's praises. Sunday's blown save was probably only about 25% his fault, but a blown save is a blown save, and Koji's second of the season despite relatively few opportunities. Still, if Koji has offered up a couple more walks than he's usually good for, and and if he raised some big red flags early in the season, he's more or less been...Koji. A 1.69 ERA, and 18 strikeouts in 16 innings.

In all honesty, Uehara's probably not even been Boston's best reliever this year. Junichi Tazawa has pitched more, and been every bit as exceptional this season. But let's be honest, this is the All-Star game. And the All-Star game has certain biases. One of those is bat over glove. Homers over hits. And if it's not exactly saving the Red Sox this year, popularity over production. There's also "closing counts." Koji Uehara is the closer, and thus the rock star of the bullpen, and thus the All-Star of the Red Sox when nobody else steps up to bat.

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