Rodney Dangerfield, in all of his infinite wisdom, said it often and said it best: “What’s a guy gotta do to get some respect around here!?” Michael Cuddyer, in spite of his infinite humility, has to be thinking the same thing. In 56 games this year Cuddyer has put together quite a resume for the 2013 season. Batting average of .339. 43 runs batted in, 32 runs scored. 11 home runs. Oh, and he has that active 21-game hitting streak.. all accomplished around a 15-day stint on the disabled list. What more should a guy have to do?
Among all MLB players in 2013 Cuddy ranks 4th in batting average — behind 2012 Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, Yadier Molina, and Troy Tulowitzki — and he is 10th in on-base percentage. In the National League Cuddyer is ranked T-19 in home runs, 13th in RBIs, and his 6 stolen bases leave him T-28th. Is 6 stolen bases not good enough? HE’S THIRTY FOUR YEARS OLD!! In his 13th season as a major leaguer, it is pretty safe to say that Cuddyer is setting a new bar for himself.
When you split his stats down even further Cuddy ranks 5th among NL outfielders in RBI’s and is on top of the pile in batting average. He is also in the top ten in home runs.
Let me just point out one more thing here: that 15-day disabled list trip gave Cuddyer roughly 15 fewer games to build his stats. Yep, you read that right. Michael Cuddyer has climbed up among the ranks of the top outfielders of the National League using far less plate appearances to get there. And please, let’s not get into an argument over a DL player not being an All-Star. Remember Cuddyer’s first game back off the DL? It was in San Francisco, and all he did was go 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, 3 RBI’s and 2 runs scored. That line is impressive for someone in the middle of a hot streak; it becomes nearly unbelievable when it is put up by someone who just nursed a neck injury for two weeks.
I have been saying this a lot over the last few months: Michael Cuddyer is playing like a man possessed. He hustles on every single play to the point that you worry he may hurt himself. His diving catches in right field have at times rivaled Carlos Gonzalez’s magic glove. His awkward tumbles over first base, pushing for a legged-out single like he was a 23-year-old rookie, are endearing. Listen. Michael Cuddyer has not really ever deserved to be an All-Star. He has only been selected one year, his last as a Minnesota Twin, a season in which he batted .284 with 20 HR and 70 RBI’s. If there is a year where he actually deserves to be present at the mid-summer classic it is this year.
Now Michael Cuddyer is not the type of guy that is going to say anything about this. He just wants to win, all the time. But you know that deep down he would love to make the All-Star game in a year where he is playing out of his (insert profanity laced adjective here) mind. What’s that you say? What can you do to help, you ask? It’s simple. Go cast your vote (by clicking “Go cast your vote”), 25 times a day, every day, from now until voting closes at 11:59 PM ET, Thursday, July 4th. Cast your votes while you do your morning workout. Cast a vote while swimming. Cast them while fishing on that nice quiet mountain lake. Don’t cast them while you’re driving. Do cast them while watching your favorite fireworks show. GO. Go cast your votes now! All we’re trying to do is get Cuddy some respect.