Red Sox slugger David Ortiz extended his lead at first base while rising rookie Dustin Pedroia moved up in the second base balloting as updated All-Star voting results for the American League were released today for the 78th midsummer classic to be played on July 10 in San Francisco. Across the board, there were no changes among the leaders for any of the AL starting positions.
Ortiz (775,734) has opened up his lead at first place over Justin Morneau of the Twins (351,497) by 424,237 votes. Morneau passed the Yankees’ Jason Giambi to move into second place.
There had been a wave of support within Red Sox Nation to write-in Kevin Youkilis, who had been hot at the plate for the month of May, as the AL first baseman. But with the absence of a DH position this year, as the game will be played in the National League city of San Francisco, Ortiz was the Red Sox representative at first base forcing Sox fans to make a choice between Big Papi and a write-in vote for Youkilis.
With Ortiz taking a commanding lead at first base, it appears the best chance for Youkilis to make the All-Star team would be as a reserve through the coaches/players process, or be added to the AL squad as the 32nd player in the special online final vote process that takes place once the starters are announced.
Pedroia (208,172), the AL’s rookie of the month and player of the week, has passed the Devil Rays’ B.J. Upton (196,156) to move into fourth place in the AL balloting for second baseman. Robinson Cano of the Yankees is the current leader at second with 389,265 votes.
Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez, who has raised his batting average over the last few weeks, remains the No. 2 vote getter for AL outfielders, trailing Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels. The Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki is the third top starting outfielder in the second AL balloting update.
In other positions, the Tigers’ Pudge Rodriguez has the lead at catcher over the Twins’ Joe Mauer. Red Sox captain Jason Varitek, currently third in the catcher balloting, is 56,543 votes off the lead.
Yankee players Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter have big leads at third base and shortstop, respectively. Rodriguez has 1,058,907 votes, more than any player in either league, and leads Sox third baseman Mike Lowell by 705,984 votes. Rodriguez and Jeter are MLB’s top overall vote getters so far.
Fans can vote at MLB.com and all 30 team sites until 11:59 p.m. ET on June 28. Pitchers will be selected by the All-Star game managers and coaching staff for both leagues.
American League All-Star balloting through June 5: