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Belt could return to All-Star Game via Final Vote

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- You might say that by being named a candidate in the 2018 Camping World MLB Final Vote, Giants first baseman Brandon Belt received a pardon for the interruption in his season.

VOTE BELT: 2018 Camping World MLB Final Vote

SAN FRANCISCO -- You might say that by being named a candidate in the 2018 Camping World MLB Final Vote, Giants first baseman Brandon Belt received a pardon for the interruption in his season.

VOTE BELT: 2018 Camping World MLB Final Vote

Belt's Final Vote rivals to reach the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard include Dodgers infielder Max Muncy, Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar, Nationals shortstop Trea Turner and Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter.

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

Belt had just finished riding a nine-game hitting streak when he was stricken by appendicitis on June 1. He regained his stroke shortly after rejoining the lineup, but it's anybody's guess how handsome his statistics would look had he avoided being sidelined.

Belt owns a .300/.393/.509 slash line, garnished by 13 homers and 42 RBIs. Two years ago, when he won the National League's Final Vote competition to make his first All-Star team, his corresponding numbers were .302/.407/.521 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs.

"It's a shame," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, referring to Belt's appendicitis-induced 13-game absence. "He's had, I think, his best first half."

A spirited, social media-based effort by the Giants propelled him into the 2016 Midsummer Classic, as he won the voting ahead of Pittsburgh's Starling Marte, Colorado's Trevor Story, Arizona's Mike Lamb and Milwaukee's Ryan Braun.

Belt is the lone winner among the Giants' previous Final Vote candidates, who include Benito Santiago (2003), Aaron Rowand (2008), Pablo Sandoval (2009) and Hunter Pence (2013).

Video: Belt discusses NL Final Vote on MLB Tonight

Fans can cast votes for the final player on each league's roster -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online as part of the 2018 Camping World MLB Final Vote, as well as via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps, until Wednesday at 1 p.m. PT.

Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans can submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Brandon Belt