BALTIMORE -- Manny Machado has hit into some tough luck so far this season, and the O's third baseman -- a defensive wizard -- needs a big push in the final week of the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot to secure a trip to his hometown in Miami.Machado, a three-time
BALTIMORE -- Manny Machado has hit into some tough luck so far this season, and the O's third baseman -- a defensive wizard -- needs a big push in the final week of the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot to secure a trip to his hometown in Miami.
Machado, a three-time All-Star, has fallen from first place in Week 1 of voting to his lowest spot, at fifth this week. He has been trailing Minnesota's Miguel Sano, Cleveland's Jose Ramirez and Toronto's Josh Donaldson, with Kansas City's Mike Moustakas (1,067,150 votes) passing him in the latest totals. Machado, who has had a slow start offensively, has 946,013 votes.
On the season, he is batting .228 with 15 homers and 38 RBIs, though O's manager Buck Showalter believes the numbers don't really tell the offensive story for Machado.
"I don't think there's anybody that has hit into tougher luck than him," Showalter said of Machado, who helped lead the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic team this spring.
"Manny's hit a lot of balls hard. The other night [against Tampa Bay] he smoked two balls. The challenge for him is subconciously, you're 0-for-3 or 0-for-4 with two or three balls hit hard and you're in your last at-bat, you are trying to subconsciously make your night by hitting the ball where they can't catch it. We all know where that is.
"They say they all even out. I'm biased as a hitter, trust me. For every bloop you get, it's probably about 3-to-1 [that go your way]."
The fan-elected starter in 2016, Machado would join Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken Jr. as the only Orioles third basemen to earn multiple fan-elected starts.
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. Vote up to five times in any 24-hour period.
Welington Castillo -- who has had a solid offensive season despite two disabled list trips -- kept the same spot as fourth among AL catchers. He still trails Kansas City's Salvador Perez -- who has a huge lead -- the Yankees' Gary Sanchez (1,337,651 votes) and Astros' Brian McCann (1,330,042) with 1,050,023 votes.
Like Machado, Castillo's season started in the WBC 2017, where he was the starting catcher for the Dominican Republic.
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.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.