Major League Baseball today unveiled the 2014 All-Star ballot and nine Minnesota Twins are looking for votes.
First baseman Joe Mauer, second baseman Brian Dozier, shortstop Pedro Florimon, third baseman Trevor Plouffe, catcher Kurt Suzuki, designated hitter Jason Kubel and outfielders Oswaldo Arcia, Josh Willingham and Aaron HIcks made the ballot.
Mauer's competition at first base is fierce. Compared to when he played catcher, Mauer is up against some of baseball's best home run and RBI men. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, Baltimore's Chris Davis and Albert Pujols of the Angels are sure to garner a lot of votes, which could put Mauer's hope for a seventh All-Star appearance in jeopardy.
At this point, Mauer is struggling. He's batting .264 with one home run and only five RBI.
First baseman Chris Colabello was left off the ballot. Colabello, one of baseball's best hitters through 21 games, leads the American League with 26 RBI and nine doubles. He also has three home runs to go along with a .325 batting average.
Colabello could still end up an All-Star through a final fan vote, but that's a long way out.
Colabello has led a Twins offense that ranks third in runs scored (116) and first in on-base percentage (.354). The Wadena Pioneer Journal points out that through the early stage of the season the Twins have already faced two best pitching teams in the league (Oakland, Kansas City) and are still putting up big offensive numbers. The result is an unexpected better-than-.500 record (11-10).
Encouraging? Yes. A trend for the long haul? It's too early to tell.
Fans can cast their All-Star votes at MLB.com until July 3. Ballots will be available at Target Field though June 7.
The 2014 MLB All-Star Game will be held at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.