The Rangers' five-year run of having at least two starters on the American League All-Star team appears to be in jeopardy following the second AL balloting update, released Saturday night.
Though Texas has seven players in the top five at their respective positions -- or top 10 for outfielders -- each of those players either remained in the same spot or dropped in the voting since the first balloting update on Monday.
The Rangers' lone leader from that initial update, shortstop Elvis Andrus, was surpassed in the voting by Baltimore's J.J. Hardy. Andrus, who held a slim 10,000-vote advantage over Hardy at the beginning of the week, now trails the O's middle infielder by slightly more than 185,000 votes.
As for the rest of the Rangers, designated hitter Lance Berkman remained second, though he trails Boston's David Ortiz by more than 750,000 votes. Others to stay put in the voting included third baseman Adrian Beltre at third, catcher A.J. Pierzynski at fourth and first baseman Mitch Moreland at fifth.
Second baseman Ian Kinsler, who remains on the disabled list with a fractured rib, dropped one spot to third, giving way to Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia by approximately 100,000 votes. Yankees slugger Robinson Cano still leads the way at the position with 740,000 more votes than Pedroia.
Yet the Rangers player to experience the biggest drop in positioning was outfielder Nelson Cruz. Cruz, who dropped two spots to sixth among AL outfielders, still however remains in a close battle to start the Midsummer Classic.
With the top three vote-getting outfielders receiving starting spots, Cruz sat approximately 50,000 votes behind Tigers veteran Torii Hunter for the third and final starting nod following the first update. Though he has since been passed by Baltimore's Nick Markakis and Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, Cruz still remains only 56,000 votes off Hunter's pace. Orioles center fielder Adam Jones and Angels phenom Mike Trout continue to hold down the top two outfield spots, respectively.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via a mobile device -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, July 4, at 10:59 p.m. CT.
Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period but can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, fans must be logged into an MLB.com account when submitting any online ballot. To obtain a free MLB.com account, visit www.mlb.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions.
Fans can also once again participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll, with the opportunity to select three players in each league whom they would most like to see participate in the event. The 2013 Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 7 p.m. CT on Monday, July 15.
The 2013 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 7, on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com on MLB.com.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game balloting will again have fans participating in the official voting for 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 via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, 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 also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.