Late push can put Cruz into AL starting lineup

Late push can put Cruz into AL starting lineup

Late push can put Cruz into AL starting lineup

ARLINGTON - Nelson Cruz has just a few more days to earn a spot in the American League starting lineup for the 84th All-Star Game at Shea Stadium.


Cruz is in sixth place among AL outfielders in the latest update of the fan balloting, which was released on Monday. He is in a tight race with four other players for the final starting outfield spot, behind Jose Bautista, Nick Markakis and Torii Hunter, and ahead of Nate McLouth. All are within 500,000 votes of each other.

The Rangers hit the halfway point of the season on Saturday by playing their 81st game, and Cruz was hitting .268 while ranking fifth in the AL with 20 home runs and 62 RBIs. He also had a .522 slugging percentage.

Cruz has been to just one All-Star Game. He was selected as a reserve in 2009 but did not play.

The Rangers have had at least two position players in the AL lineup in each of the past five seasons, but that streak is coming to an end. Lance Berkman is second in the voting at designated hitter, but he is more than two million votes behind David Ortiz of the Red Sox.

Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, second baseman Ian Kinsler, shortstop Elvis Andrus and third baseman Adrian Beltre are all in third place at their positions. Mitch Moreland is fifth among first basemen.

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 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 an MLB.com account, visit www.mlb.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.

Fans can also once again participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league whom they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. 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.

Rosters will be unveiled Saturday at 5:30 p.m. CT on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell. The show will be televised nationally on FOX.

From Saturday through Thursday, July 11, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com for the final player for each League's All-Star roster.

And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting 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.

AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTING
(as of July 1)

FIRST BASE
Chris Davis, Orioles 5,468,703
Prince Fielder, Tigers 3,280,681
Albert Pujols, Angels 1,140,420
Mike Napoli, Red Sox 1,123,281
Mitch Moreland, Rangers 1,007,675

SECOND BASE
Robinson Cano, Yankees 3,974,322
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 2,838,129
Ian Kinsler, Rangers 1,767,806
Omar Infante, Tigers 1,554,514
Jose Altuve, Astros 1,227,462

SHORTSTOP
J.J. Hardy, Orioles 3,509,180
Jhonny Peralta, Tigers 2,505,348
Elvis Andrus, Rangers 2,122,770
Jed Lowrie, Athletics 1,491,376
Jose Reyes, Blue Jays 1,091,707

THIRD BASE
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 5,844,165
Manny Machado, Orioles 2,752,627
Adrian Beltre, Rangers 1,792,809
Evan Longoria, Rays 1,528,877
Josh Donaldson, Athletics 827,381

CATCHER
Joe Mauer, Twins 3,869,330
Matt Wieters, Orioles 2,677,959
A.J. Pierzynski, Rangers 1,441,827
Carlos Santana, Indians 1,285,650
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox 1,256,505

DESIGNATED HITTER
David Ortiz, Red Sox 4,398,197
Lance Berkman, Rangers 2,004,388
Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays 1,688,099
Victor Martinez, Tigers 1,257,577
Mark Trumbo, Angels 1,190,709

OUTFIELD
Mike Trout, Angels 4,822,983
Adam Jones, Orioles 4,766,256
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays 2,679,230
Nick Markakis, Orioles 2,536,864
Torii Hunter, Tigers 2,390,336
Nelson Cruz, Rangers 2,258,797
Nate McLouth, Orioles 2,169,772
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox 1,751,022
Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics 1,556,700
Coco Crisp, Athletics 1,421,277
Alex Gordon, Royals 1,416,887
Austin Jackson, Tigers 1,306,330
Josh Hamilton, Angels 1,138,518
Shane Victorino, Red Sox 1,059,429
Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees 1,003,198

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.