If we know anything about the All-Star rosters, it's that they are fungible properties basically up until the day of the Midsummer Classic itself. Things happen. Guys get hurt. Guys pitch on Sunday and pull themselves out of availability. Guys get stuck on a layover at O'Hare and can't make it to Cincinnati.
OK, that last one's a stretch, but it's no stretch to assume that some of the guys notable in their absence from the All-Star rosters announced Monday night and the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote will still attain All-Star status eventually.
Here, then, is a rundown of the guys at each position from each league who should keep his phone handy for the next week.
If we're going purely off in-season merit, the strongest candidates would be Scott Kazmir (5-5, 2.56 ERA), Hector Santiago (5-4, 2.40) and Yovani Gallardo (7-6, 2.56). That said, don't totally rule out the possibility of reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber getting some overdue All-Star love despite less-inspiring surface-level stats (3-9, 3.64 ERA), though he's scheduled to pitch Sunday.
Johnny Cueto, Clayton Kershaw and Carlos Martinez are all in the Final Vote mix, but Lance Lynn (6-4, 2.53) also looms as a strong replacement candidate (the fact that the Cardinals have three starters worthy of an All-Star look tells you a lot about how they've gotten off to such a scorching start). Like Lynn, Cole Hamels (5-6, 3.02) is scheduled to pitch Friday and, ergo, would be readily available. The Cubs' Jake Arrieta (8-5, 2.80) also has a nice case.
It used to be tough for non-closers to crack the All-Star roster, but we've already got Darren O'Day, Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis on the AL squad. If there's any justice, the next man up ought to be the Astros' Will Harris, who took a 0.75 WHIP and 0.93 ERA into Monday's play. That said, it could go to Angels closer Huston Street (23 saves, 2.34 ERA).
In the National League, Nats closer Drew Storen would be the safe play, with 25 saves and a 1.97 ERA. Jason Grilli (22 saves) has also had a solid year. But Bruce Bochy wouldn't be rocking the boat too much if he went with one of his guys -- closer Santiago Casilla (20 saves), setup man George Kontos (1.74 ERA) or lefty Javier Lopez (1.99).
The NL, where Buster Posey, Yadi Molina and Yasmani Grandal are on the roster, is a little trickier. Most likely, the Padres' Derek Norris (11 homers, 20 doubles) would get the call should somebody go down, but Francisco Cervelli (.782 OPS) has had a nice all-around year for the Pirates and is also worthy.
Joey Votto (.864 OPS, 14 homers) can and should get the call should a need arise on the NL roster. He's the face of the Reds' franchise and has an All-Star case up there with that of Adrian Gonzalez, who was a Bochy selection.
Jose Altuve had the votes, Jason Kipnis had the numbers and now Brian Dozier is on the Final Vote ballot. The guy lost in all of this is the Rays' Logan Forsythe (.790 OPS), who has been a big offensive and defensive key in their contention status.
That's why it's not at all crazy to stump for a guy who has only been in the big leagues for a month. It would be a lot of fun to see Carlos Correa (.932 OPS) jump right into the mix, kind of like how Mike Trout and Bryce Harper both got in back in 2012 (albeit with a little more service time).
George Springer would have been a really fine reserve choice in the AL, but he's hurt. Josh Reddick (.809) had a strong start. And there are guys like the Rays' Kevin Kiermaier and Kevin Pillar who probably deserve more love for their gloves. But Mookie Betts makes the most sense here, now that his bat has begun to produce as prescribed.
And while the name is more toxic than it was the last time he made the All-Star team, back in 2012, you can't deny that Ryan Braun (.838 OPS, 15 homers) has worked himself back into viable All-Star consideration.
On that note ...
Hey, if wanting to see Alex Rodriguez (.902 OPS, 16 homers) in this All-Star Game is wrong, I don't want to be right. But if things were to go south with Nelson Cruz or Fielder, Yost would have the option of going with his guy, Kendrys Morales (.795 OPS, 10 homers).
Voting is open now at MLB.com to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League until 4 p.m. ET on Friday.
And the voting doesn't end there. During the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m.