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Ramirez, Lindor making strong case to start ASG

Indians' duo had prolific showings in May
MLB.com @MLBastian

MINNEAPOLIS -- The days of Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor being an underrated duo may be over.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

View Full Game Coverage

MINNEAPOLIS -- The days of Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor being an underrated duo may be over.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

View Full Game Coverage

Last season, Ramirez started at third base for the American League All-Star team after winning the fan vote at his position and finished the year third in balloting for the AL MVP. Lindor has made the All-Star team in each of the past two years, finished in the top five in MVP voting last fall, has won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger and is becoming one of the faces of baseball.

Fans outside of Cleveland are becoming more and more familiar with the Tribe's dynamic infield duo.

"People in Cleveland knew how good they were," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But, when you see fans voting for them, I think it's a pretty cool reward for those guys, because we're not the biggest market. It seems like people last year really started to vote for them. Not just from Cleveland."

If fans voted both Ramirez and Lindor into the AL starting lineup this year, they would be the first third baseman and shortstop from the Indians to start since 1948 (Lou Boudreau and Ken Keltner). They represent Cleveland on this season's AL ballot, along with first baseman Yonder Alonso, second baseman Jason Kipnis, catcher Yan Gomes, left fielder Michael Brantley, center fielder Bradley Zimmer, right fielder Tyler Naquin and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion.

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of this year's All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league's roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 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 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Video: CWS@CLE: Ramirez cracks a solo homer to right field

Last year, Ramirez became the first Indians player to be voted into the AL starting lineup since 2001, and the third baseman has turned in an incredible encore performance to date. With his homer on Thursday night in Minnesota, Ramirez ended May tied with Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and J.D. Martinez for the Major League lead in home runs (18).

During Thursday's win, Lindor collected two home runs and a pair of doubles, becoming the first shortstop since at least 1908 to have two games in one season with at least four extra-base hits. Both he and Ramirez had prolific showings in May, hitting a combined .356/.432/.747 with 21 homers, 25 doubles, 29 walks, 33 strikeouts, 48 RBIs and 53 runs for the month.

Beyond Ramirez (2017) and Lindor (2016-17), the position players listed for the Indians on this year's ballot include former All-Stars in Encarnacion (2013, '14 and '16), Kipnis ('13 and '15), Brantley ('14 and '17) and Alonso ('17). Last season, Cleveland sent five players to the All-Star Game, with ace Corey Kluber and reliever Andrew Miller joining Ramirez, Lindor and Brantley at the Midsummer Classic in Miami.

Given the play of Ramirez and Lindor through two months this year, Indians fans probably will not be the only ones voting for them to attend the All-Star Game again this season.

"They're some really good baseball players and fortunately they're on our team," Indians closer Cody Allen said. "It's not lost on us how good those guys are."

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.

Cleveland Indians, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez