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Gardenhire: Suzuki deserves to be an All-Star

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Catcher Kurt Suzuki has been one of the most consistent Twins players during the first half of the season.

His manager Ron Gardenhire said Tuesday that Suzuki deserves a spot in the All-Star Game, which will be played at Target Field in two weeks.

The Pioneer Press reports that Gardenhire hasn't done any lobbying to American League manager John Farrell, but if Farrell were to ask Gardenhire for input, the Twins manager said he would give Suzuki a plug.

"Absolutely," Gardenhire told the Pioneer Press. "He's hitting .300 as a catcher and has done everything with this pitching staff."

According to MLB.com, Baltimore's Matt Wieters currently leads the catchers in All-Star voting, while Oakland's Derek Norris isn't far behind. Suzuki is currently fourth among A.L. catchers, but has only half the votes of Wieters.

All Star Voting – Catchers

  1. Matt Wieters, Orioles: 2,103,385
  2. Derek Norris, A's: 1,924,049
  3. Brian McCann, Yankees: 1,624,214
  4. Kurt Suzuki, Twins: 1,025,717
  5. A.J. Pierzynski Red Sox 925,996

The only other Twins player in the top five at any position is second baseman Brian Dozier. He is currently fifth in the voting for American League second basemen. But Dozier has stumbled as of late and is back to hitting just .235.

The Twins will have at least one All-Star representative, and Suzuki may have about as good of a chance as anyone. Joe Mauer has made six All-Star appearances, but his new position at first base and a prolonged batting slump at the start of the season have made his chances less likely.

Twins closer Glen Perkins has 20 saves. He may also have a shot, but that will be decided by Farrell, once voting for the game comes to a close.

The All-Star Game is scheduled for July 15.

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