Melvin to lobby for Vogt, Gray for ASG nod
Fans can vote up to 35 times online until July 2
ARLINGTON -- The A's ventured to Arlington on Monday's off-day ahead of a three-game set with the Rangers, and with valuable carry-ons: the American League's ERA leader, and a catcher who ranks high in several of the league's offensive categories.
Both ace Sonny Gray and battery mate Stephen Vogt were touted as worthy All-Star candidates by manager Bob Melvin over the weekend.
While the team was airborne, Major League Baseball released an American League voting update, and Vogt, who has consistently ranked second among catchers for weeks, is now third behind leader Kansas City's Salvador Perez (10,199,151) and Toronto's Russell Martin (4,736,279).
With Vogt sitting at 4,368,609 votes with less than two weeks of balloting remaining, the 30-year-old is unlikely to become a first-time All-Star by fan vote. He can still get there, though, and Melvin will do his part to make it happen.
Managers routinely contact their respective league's All-Star manager to lobby for players, and Melvin will have the chance to do just that with the Royals' Ned Yost this weekend in Oakland.
"As far as production from the catcher's spot, there isn't anybody that has better production," Melvin said. "So there's no question that he should be considered."
Vogt, who leads the A's with 13 home runs and 51 RBIs, entered the day ranking first among AL catchers in batting average (.294), on-base percentage (.393) and slugging (.545). His OBP is fifth in all of baseball, and his slugging is seventh.
"It's awesome to be in the conversation," said Vogt. "It means a lot. For me, I don't really like to think about it, talk about it. But it's an honor to be talked about as a Major League baseball player, let alone in the conversation to be an All-Star, so it's pretty special."
Among Yost's other duties will be choosing a starting pitcher, and Gray surely boasts the qualifications.
Melvin said there's "no question" the right-hander should easily "be in the conversation" for the honor.
Despite allowing five earned runs to the Angels on Friday, Gray still leads AL starters with a 1.95 ERA and is holding opponents to a .196 batting average, second only to Houston's Dallas Keuchel (.194).
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- using the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, July 2, at 8:59 p.m. PT. For the first time, voting is exclusively online, where fans may submit up to 35 ballots. Fans may also receive the ballot by texting VOTE to 89269 (USA) or 101010 (Canada). Or text VOTA for a ballot in Spanish. Message and data rates may apply. Up to five messages. No purchase required. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for info.
Following the announcement of the 2015 All-Stars, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player for each league's All-Star roster. On Tuesday, July 14, watch the 2015 All-Star Game live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2015 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.
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