SEATTLE -- While the Mariners have emerged as one of Major League Baseball's biggest surprises, surging to the lead in the American League West, that success hasn't caught on yet with All-Star voters. Seattle has only one player -- second baseman Dee Gordon -- in the top five of voting
SEATTLE -- While the Mariners have emerged as one of Major League Baseball's biggest surprises, surging to the lead in the American League West, that success hasn't caught on yet with All-Star voters. Seattle has only one player -- second baseman Dee Gordon -- in the top five of voting at any position in the initial AL balloting results released Tuesday.
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With Robinson Cano not on the ballot after being suspended for 80 days, Gordon sits third in the second-base voting at 87,647, though a distant third behind Houston's Jose Altuve (701,236) and rookie Gleyber Torres of the Yankees (279,810),
Gordon began the year in center field, but he has started 12 games now at second base in Cano's absence. Gordon is leading the Majors with 19 stolen bases while batting .280 and providing an energy boost for a Mariners club that has gotten off to a 42-24 start.
Mitch Haniger is 13th in the outfield voting, in which the top 15 are listed. Haniger is third among all AL players with 47 RBIs while hitting .263 with 13 home runs. But with 100,149 votes, he's well behind the early outfield front-runners -- Mookie Betts of the Red Sox (748,872), Michael Trout of the Angels (639,822) and Aaron Judge of the Yankees (541,983).
No other Mariner is listed among the leaders at their positions, including shortstop Jean Segura, who is off to an outstanding start, and perennial designated hitter contender Nelson Cruz.
Pitchers aren't part of the fan balloting process, instead being selected by managers, coaches and player votes. Starter James Paxton and closer Edwin Diaz figure to be potential selections there, while Marco Gonzales has also put up numbers worthy of being in the conversation as well.
Segura deserves consideration in the loaded AL shortstop race as well, where the initial top five are Manny Machado of the Orioles, Francisco Lindor of the Indians, Didi Gregorius of the Yankees, Carlos Correa of the Astros and Andrelton Simmons of the Angels.
Even in that ultra-talented group, Segura entered play on Tuesday leading all AL qualified shortstops in batting average (.343), hits (91) and stolen bases (14), while second in RBIs (40), third in on-base percentage (.365) and fifth in slugging percentage (.483) and OPS (.848).
"There's a lot of good players in that spot," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "The one thing with Jean, everybody looks at the numbers of what he's doing offensively. I think defensively he's been outstanding. Very solid. That gets overlooked at times. He can really throw. You see him finish plays. When he leaves his feet and knocks a ball down and scrambles up, he's got plenty of arm strength to finish plays, which is awesome."
Cruz, a five-time All-Star, also didn't crack a top five that consists of J.D. Martinez of the Red Sox, Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees, Shohei Ohtani of the Angels, Evan Gattis of the Astros and Edwin Encarnacion of the Indians.
But Cruz could also begin picking up momentum as he's caught fire of late with four home runs in his past three games. He's now batting .260 with 15 homers and 36 RBIs.
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 8:59 p.m. PT. 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.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.