Cruz seeking fan support for All-Star berth
Mariners DH still trails Royals' Morales in voting for AL starting spot
SAN FRANCISCO -- Nelson Cruz is going to need a late push from voters on the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot if he's going to earn his second straight starting spot in the Midsummer Classic as the Mariners slugger remains second in balloting for the American League designated hitter spot in results released Monday by Major League Baseball.
Cruz trails Kendrys Morales of the Royals as Kansas City players now lead in balloting for eight of the nine AL starting positions. National League voting will be released Tuesday.
Morales, the former Mariners DH, passed Cruz two weeks ago in the DH race and extended his lead in the latest tally, 5,422,250 votes to 4,873,272. There are about two weeks remaining before the voting closes July 2.
Second baseman Omar Infante became the latest Royal to move into the lead, overtaking Houston's Jose Altuve at that position. Infante joins catcher Salvador Perez, first baseman Eric Hosmer, shortstop Alcides Escobar, third baseman Mike Moustakas and outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon as All-Star leaders from Kansas City.
The only non-Royal currently holding down starting spots in the AL voting is Angels center fielder Mike Trout, who is second in the outfield voting to Cain.
Cruz certainly can make a case as a legitimate AL starting candidate at DH, even as his torrid early home run pace has cooled of late. The 34-year-old entered Tuesday having gone 15 straight games without a home run, but he still shared the AL lead in homers (18), was second in slugging percentage (.591) and OPS (.973) and was fourth in batting average (.323) and tied for fourth in RBIs (40).
Morales, seeking his first All-Star selection, was batting .281 with seven home runs, 18 doubles, 41 RBIs and had a .457 slugging percentage and .799 OPS.
No other Mariners are ranked in the top five positon players or 15 outfielders in the voting, including second baseman Robinson Cano, a six-time All-Star who has been elected the AL starter for the past five years, but is hitting just .237 this season.
Third baseman Kyle Seager, who was named to his first All-Star team last year, also is not currently among the AL leaders at his position despite a solid .272/.327/.461 line with 10 homers and 35 RBIs. Pitchers are not elected by the fan voting.
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.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of All-Star Week festivities.
The 86th 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.