Cabrera third in early All-Star voting
Inge fifth at third base; Jackson hasn't cracked top 15
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera entered this week leading the Major Leagues in RBIs and ranking eighth among American League hitters in batting average. On the All-Star ballot, however, he's going to need help piling up votes.
What shapes up to be Cabrera's best chance to get into the All-Star Game since he joined Detroit two years ago still presents a battle for him to crack the AL's starting lineup for the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday, July 13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The first release of All-Star balloting totals shows Cabrera third among AL first basemen, trailing the Yankees' Mark Teixeira and Minnesota's Justin Morneau.
Cabrera had received 242,039 votes as of the balloting update released Monday. Teixeira leads with 396,034 votes; Morneau sits slightly ahead of Cabrera with 258,225.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites using the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot sponsored by Sprint until July 1 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Sprint subscribers can now vote on the go with select Sprint devices. They can learn more about how to vote on their smart phones at MLB.com/Sprint. Given the way Cabrera ended last season, perhaps the initial third-place showing is a positive sign. But the more Cabrera hits, the further he strengthens his argument that he ranks among the best hitters in the league at any position.
Cabrera entered Monday batting .331 with 15 doubles, 10 home runs and 40 RBIs. He added to the latter two totals on Sunday, when he lined a ball over the "Mannywood" sign in left field at Dodger Stadium for a two-run homer, helping build an early lead that the Tigers maintained for a 6-2 victory.
Cabrera's 1.012 OPS ranks third among AL hitters behind two other first basemen, Morneau and Kevin Youkilis.
With Cabrera away from the team for the next couple games to be with his wife for the birth of their second child, he isn't going to add to his resume right away. But with the Tigers headed back home for a seven-game homestand that begins Memorial Day weekend, however, he'll have plenty of opportunities after that. Balloting at Comerica Park runs through June 12, while online balloting at MLB.com continues through July 1.
Cabrera was hopeful but guarded when asked about his chances when the ballot was released last month. No Tigers player has started in the All-Star Game since Ivan Rodriguez in 2007.
"The thing is, [there are] too many good first basemen," Cabrera said. "It was tough two years ago for me because I started the year at third base. Last year, it was tough because there were so many good first basemen. Let's see what happens this year, but I think it's too soon to say."
The only other Detroit player ranked among the top five in balloting at his respective position is Brandon Inge, who ranks fifth at third base behind Evan Longoria, Alex Rodriguez and others. Magglio Ordonez and Johnny Damon rank 13th and 15th, respectively, in balloting among AL outfielders, but hot-hitting rookie Austin Jackson -- who is on the ballot -- surprisingly hasn't cracked the top 15.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2010 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS on July 4. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by Sprint.
And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote sponsored by Sprint.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.