Fan all-star game voting began yesterday. The Yankees, as always, have plenty of players who will surely be in the mix.
First base: No doubt Mark Teixeira will be in the mix, but it’s a typically crowded field. Paul Konerko is second in the league in RBI, and obviously Miguel Cabrera is going to get a lot of support in Detroit. Adrian Gonzalez has just one home run so far, but he’ll clearly get a lot of votes from the Boston crowd.
Second base: This is probably Robinson Cano’s spot to lose. Howie Kendrick is off to a good start out in Anaheim and Brian Roberts has actually hit for a little bit of power in Baltimore, but the starting second base nod could be another Yankees vs. Red Sox fight between Cano and Dustin Pedroia.
Shortstop: No matter what the statistics say, Derek Jeter will remain a favorite to be the American League’s starting shortstop. Elvis Andrus has made a name for himself in Texas, but Jeter is easily the biggest name on the ballot. Jed Lowrie is hitting for Boston, but Marco Scutaro is the Red Sox shortstop on the ballot.
Third base: Alex Rodriguez is off to a terrific start. Adrian Beltre has more home runs and RBIs, but Rodriguez is having a better all-around month of April. Evan Longoria being on the disabled list probably helps Rodriguez’s chances of being voted in.
Catcher: Russell Martin’s popularity in New York is soaring. His numbers and the Yankees fan base could be enough to put him in contention, but Joe Mauer is pretty tough to beat even with sub-par stats. Right now, Martin deserves it, but Mauer’s the biggest name at the position.
Designated hitter: Jorge Posada has the home runs, but that’s probably not enough to get him a starting job in the all-star game. David Ortiz will no doubt be a popular choice, but so far the most deserving choices might be Johnny Damon, Travis Hafner and Michael Young, players with the lowest of expectations not so long ago.
Outfield: Nick Swisher won the final ballot last year, but the Yankees with the best shot so far this season is Curtis Granderson. Of course, as always, the outfield position is full of viable choices. As always, Ichiro will generate a ton of votes, so will Carl Crawford (even with his bad start). Jose Bautista might get a bunch as well if he keeps hitting home runs. The feel-good choice this year might be Grady Sizemore, who’s come back from the disabled list on fire through his first few games.
Some details of the voting process from an MLB press release:
More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which will have 23 home dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks. Also starting today, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites… Every Major League Club will have begun its in-stadium balloting no later than Monday, May 10th.
Associated Press photos