Top clutch hitter McGehee up for NL Final Vote
Fans can reward third baseman, who leads in average with runners in scoring position
ST. LOUIS -- All season, Casey McGehee has shown the ability to pick his teammates up. Now, if the Marlins third baseman is to get to the All-Star Game, he will need some fan support.
Not part of the National League All-Star squad, which was announced on Sunday night, McGehee still can get to the Midsummer Classic with the NL Final Vote.
Each league has five players up for the final roster spot for their respective All-Star teams. McGehee's competition in the NL is Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau, Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Braves outfielder Justin Upton.
Sporting a .320 batting average, McGehee made a strong case to be selected on Sunday, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. The Marlins certainly were upset their third baseman needs help to get on the roster.
"I think you're always disappointed when your guys put up great years and don't get recognized for it," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "But I'm holding out hope that Casey gets in there. There is always a couple of guys that are right on the fence. Hopefully this isn't the case with Casey, and we find a way to get him in."
McGehee, 31, has been one of the inspiring stories in baseball this season. The veteran third baseman spent last year playing for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan. A teammate of Masahiro Tanaka, McGehee batted .292 with 28 homers and 93 RBIs.
McGehee last appeared in an All-Star Game at the Double-A level. Even last year in Japan, he wasn't elected as an All-Star, but he finished third in the MVP voting.
"It was a little disappointing, but at the same time, we've still got a job to do," McGehee said. "I'm sure I'm not the only person that's a little disappointed right now."
McGehee felt his teammates, pitchers Henderson Alvarez and Steve Cishek, made All-Star cases.
"I'm sure a lot of guys feel the same way I do right now," McGehee said.
McGehee was informed he didn't make the squad before the game at Busch Stadium on Sunday. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny spoke briefly with McGehee, informing him of the decision.
"He just said it was a tough decision and he had to go a different direction with it," McGehee said of his conversation with Matheny. "I'm sure it's a lot harder decision to make when you're the one that actually has to put your name on it. So I can respect that. And I did truly appreciate him coming over. I could tell he was genuine in what he was saying. That meant a lot to me."
The Marlins signed McGehee as a free agent, and he's been excelling in the cleanup spot, offering protection for Giancarlo Stanton, thus far Miami's lone All-Star.
Stanton has been humble when speaking about himself, but the slugger makes it clear that he is upset McGehee didn't get selected.
"That made me pretty mad," Stanton said. "It still doesn't make any sense. I know people get [snubbed] every year, but this is my first case of being together and seeing the dominance that he's had. He shouldn't have to hope for the last spot. It's not something he needs to promote himself to get there now.
"It's something that shouldn't be an unfair situation. If you perform the best, you should be there."
Here are five reasons fans should vote for McGehee:
1. RBI leader: McGehee paces all National League third basemen in RBIs with 53. Situational hitting promises to be important in the All-Star Game, and McGehee has repeatedly shown the knack of getting runners in without trying to do too much.
2. Situational hitting: With runners in scoring position, McGehee's .391 batting average is the best in the Majors. His average also is way up there with runners in scoring position and two outs. McGehee is used to hitting with runners on base because Stanton is walked so frequently. The third baseman is also tied for second at any position in the National League in game-winning RBIs.
3. Strong defensively: The bat alone isn't where McGehee has made an impact. Among all NL third basemen, McGehee has the best fielding percentage. You don't get a lot of flash at third, but he makes the plays.
4. Past big league success: McGehee has a track record of Major League success. Granted it has been a few years, but with the Brewers in 2010, he belted 23 home runs and drove in 104 runs.
5. Brings championship experience: Spending a season in Japan not only re-energized McGehee's career personally, it gave him a chance to be part of a championship team. Rakuten won the title with Tanaka as the ace. In Japan, McGehee remains a popular figure.
Fans began voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian immediately following the announcement of each league's 34-man roster on Sunday night. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League until the winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
In addition to the web, fans can use their mobile phones to cast votes via the mobile web at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text the choice to 89269. Example: Text "N1" to vote for McGehee. Standard message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.
For the third consecutive year, the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote will include social balloting participation, as Twitter support from the 10 candidates' fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag #VoteHitsMcGehee will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners. Fans will be able to follow @MLB for the latest standings updates over the course of the entire four-day voting period.
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th 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.