Infante won't turn down trip to All-Star Game
MILWAUKEE -- If it helps any, Royals second baseman Omar Infante knows how awkward the situation is now with him leading the race at second base for the American League All-Star team.
Infante surpassed Houston's Jose Altuve (.290 average, .330 on-base percentage, 17 steals) in voting this week and leads 4,518,765 votes to 4,209,702.
Infante, a 2010 National League All-Star, is having the worst season of his career: .204 average, .213 on-base percentage, zero homers, zero stolen bases.
Infante found out earlier on Monday that he had taken the voting lead.
"Yeah, the guys tell me that," he said, softly. "I'm happy for that. I'm appreciative to the fans. I know I don't have the numbers. But I don't have control [over the voting]."
But Infante isn't about to turn the All-Star Game down if he is voted in.
"No, that's what I'm saying -- I don't have control over [voting]," he said, again, softly. "The fans voted for me. I have to be happy for that."
Infante would stand to benefit financially -- if he is voted in, his contract would go up $250,000 per year in 2016 and '17.
But yes, Infante knows the situation. He knows what a good season Altuve is having.
"He's my favorite player," Infante said.
What does he like about Altuve's game?
"Everything," he said.
Meanwhile, Infante tries to navigate some way out of his slump.
"Yeah, it's why I keep working," Infante said. "I spend a lot of time in the cage ... I know I try to pull a lot. I jump to the ball. I need to make an adjustment."
Ventura bumped to Friday
Right-hander Yordano Ventura had a solid bullpen to test the strength in his right hand, manager Ned Yost said.
But Yost said Ventura still felt a small amount of numbness. For that, the club will move Ventura from Wednesday to Friday in the rotation. Joe Blanton will move from Friday to Wednesday.
Ventura left his last start after three innings because of right hand weakness.