CLEVELAND -- Jose Ramirez strutted through the Indians' clubhouse on Sunday morning, wearing a bright teal hat with his initials stitched into the front. Combined with his bright white shirt and colorful jeans and shoes, Cleveland's third baseman looked like he'd be right at home in Miami Beach.Indians fans have
CLEVELAND -- Jose Ramirez strutted through the Indians' clubhouse on Sunday morning, wearing a bright teal hat with his initials stitched into the front. Combined with his bright white shirt and colorful jeans and shoes, Cleveland's third baseman looked like he'd be right at home in Miami Beach.
Indians fans have four more days to ensure Ramirez can head to Miami for the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard.
On Monday, the final Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot results were revealed, and Ramirez trailed Twins third baseman Miguel Sano by roughly 200,000 votes for the right to start for the American League. Given Ramirez's standout play, he looks like a virtual lock for the Midsummer Classic, but he still has a shot at becoming Cleveland's first voted-in All-Star starter since Juan Gonzalez in 2001.
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"In my opinion, he's an All-Star," said Indians manager Terry Francona, who will manage the AL. "If he's not, I'm not sure who is. He's backing up last year with another [strong season]. I know he's been hot, but he's a good hitter anyway. He's a good hitter that's hot right now."
As of ther latest update, Ramirez had 1,341,076 votes to Sano's 1,550,240, meaning that the Indians' third baseman shaved around 200,000 votes off Sano's lead in the past week. Not only does Ramirez lead Sano in multiple offensive categories, the Tribe's third baseman has been one of the top overall hitters in the AL. Entering Monday, Ramirez ranked tied for second in the AL in doubles (24), fourth in average (.321), sixth in OPS (.942) and tied for eighth in runs scored (48).
Dating back to May 27, which was the last time Ramirez's season OPS dropped under .800, the third baseman had hit .411/.447/.738 in 114 plate appearances, heading into Monday's action. Over his past 13 games, including a 2-for-4 showing on Sunday, he had gone 27-for-55 at the plate. Ramirez boasts a .491/.525/.909 slash line in that span.
Also within striking distance of a starting nod was left fielder Michael Brantley, who ranked fourth among AL outfielders with 1,325,473 votes. Houston's George Springer ranked third with 1,619,385 votes. Indians designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (1,186,483) also had an outside shot, given that Nelson Cruz (1,366,962) and Corey Dickerson (1,267,234) were both within 200,000 votes.
Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, whose season actually began with a stint for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, had garnered the most votes among Indians players with 1,648,532. As of the latest rankings, though, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (2,229,857) had built a commanding lead.
Other Indians players receiving votes included: First baseman Carlos Santana (fifth, 966,199); second baseman Jason Kipnis (third, 957,179); catcher Yan Gomes (fifth, 895,482); and outfielders Lonnie Chisenhall (10th, 885,443) and Abraham Almonte (15th, 684,675).
Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB.com At Bat and MLB.com Ballpark mobile apps.
The Esurance All-Star Selection Show will take place on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Following the unveiling of the 2017 All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster. Then on Tuesday, July 11, while watching the 2017 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.
The 88th Midsummer Classic, at Marlins Park in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM will have comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @AllStarGame on social media.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.