Cano in tight race for All-Star start at second
SEATTLE -- New Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, a five-time All-Star for the Yankees, finds himself in a heated battle on the initial fan balloting for this year's Midsummer Classic.
Major League Baseball released the first round of American League vote totals Tuesday, and Cano was about 6,000 votes behind Detroit's Ian Kinsler and just ahead of Boston's Dustin Pedroia in the second-base race, which is the tightest position battle in the initial voting.
The official tally shows 356,244 votes for Kinsler, 350,293 for Cano and 343,321 for Pedroia, with Minnesota's Brian Dozier fourth at 194,941.
Cano, who signed a 10-year, $240 million deal to join the Mariners in free agency this season, said he's more focused on his on-field performance than the All-Star balloting at this point.
"What do we have, another month or more?" he said. "Right now I don't really pay attention because that's voting by the fans. All you have to do is go out there and put up your numbers. If you get picked, perfect. If not … there are a lot of guys swinging pretty good."
Cano was elected by the fans as the AL starter at second base the past four years and was also named to the team in 2006, though he didn't play that year due to an injury.
No other Mariners players were among the top five at their positions, or 15 among the outfielders, in the numbers released Tuesday. Seattle hasn't had a position player selected to the All-Star team since outfielder Ichiro Suzuki earned the last of his 10 straight selections in 2010.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Pitchers aren't voted on by fans, but Mariners ace Felix Hernandez has been selected to the last four All-Star Games. He was joined by Hisashi Iwakuma last year and Michael Pineda and Brandon League in 2011.
Cano had the top batting average of all AL second basemen after Monday's game at .332 and also was first in RBIs with 30. His .377 on-base percentage was second to the .379 mark of the Angels' Howie Kendrick, and his .805 OPS was third behind Kinsler (.837) and Houston's Jose Altuve (.806).
Entering Tuesday, Kinsler was hitting .330 with four home runs and 22 RBIs with his new Tigers club, while Pedroia was batting .268 with two home runs and 16 RBIs for the Red Sox. Pedroia is a four-time All-Star who has been elected twice by fans as a starter, while Kinsler is a three-time All-Star who is seeking his first starting assignment.
Second base is a stacked position in the AL this season as Altuve is also having an excellent season, hitting .323 with two home runs, 17 RBIs and 17 stolen bases for the Astros; Kendrick was batting .303 with two home runs and 22 RBIs; and Dozier had 11 home runs, 12 stolen bases and 26 RBIs to go with a .246 batting average after Monday's games.
Cano has hit just two home runs to date and Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon says that fact seems to be raising a false impression that the 31-year-old has gotten off to a slow start with his new team. In truth, he's second behind only Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (.341) among all AL hitters in batting average and leads the Mariners in RBIs while also racking up 11 doubles and a triple and playing outstanding defense.
"I said this coming in, I think he's one of the top five players in all of baseball and I think he continues to prove that by the way he goes about his business on the field, by the fact he's hitting .330 with 30 RBIs," McClendon said.
"He's well on a pace to be a very productive player again this year and in the end his numbers are going to be right where they're supposed to be. And he might even exceed it a little this year."
The 2014 All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. The AL will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL will have eight fan-elected starters. Pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by All-Star managers Mike Matheny (NL) and John Farrell (AL).
Immediately following the announcement of the rosters, you can select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Choose again at that point from among five players in each league. The Final Vote returns for its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast to date, and you'll be able to make selections on MLB.com, club sites and your mobile device.
You'll be on a voting tear at that point, having already selected starters and the last men, and the ritual will not end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the big game, vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi. The fan voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.