Mike Napoli, C.J. "Funny Guy" Wilson
Whether or not he deserves to be is up for debate, but regardless of reason, Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli is the top vote getter among American League catchers right now in the all-star fan voting. That means the Rangers catcher is set to start the All-Star Game in Kansas City on July 10 for his manager, Ron Washington.
That's not a huge deal, as Napoli would join teammates Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton as starters in the game if the voting should stay how it is now. But things could get really interesting if Napoli is the starting catcher and Washington makes an interesting choice for his starting pitcher.
There's basically five viable options for Washington to choose from, and that doesn't even consider guys who might start on Sunday before the all-star break, therefore eliminating themselves from contention to start the game. As far as I can tell, the five options are: Justin Verlander, Brandon McCarthy, Chris Sale, Jered Weaver and .... C.J. Wilson.
The lowest ERA in the American League as of today belongs to Weaver at 2.40, but Weaver just came off a stint on the disabled list so he's thrown just 75 innings. Weaver also leads the pack in batting average against (.189) and WHIP (0.91).
The next-best ERA belongs to Wilson, the former Rangers starter who went to the enemy in the off-season and is pitching better than ever with a 2.44 ERA in 92 1/3 innings of work and a .203 batting average against.
In all honesty, Sale and McCarthy probably aren't big enough names to earn the nod, especially Sale. That puts the odds in pretty good favor of starting Wilson, who Washington has a good relationship with since the two kind of "grew up" together in the bigs — Wilson as a starting pitcher and Washington as a manager.
So what's all this mean? Well, remember this? Sure you do. Mike Napoli and C.J. Wilson had an exchange of words on Twitter. Napoli said he wanted to take Wilson deep in their first meeting as opponents, and like anyone would, Wilson tweeted out Napoli's cell phone number. Wait, huh? Yeah, he sure did. Anyway, it led to some pretty bad blood that surely has boiled over a bit now that Napoli has faced Wilson in two separate games and has yet to take him yard.
So anyway, time will tell, but don't put it past Washington to call upon Wilson to start the All-Star Game, and if he does, it'll be an interesting battery to watch.