Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt remains in second place in the American League All-Star voting, trailing Salvador Perez by almost four million votes and a greater than 2-to-1 margin in the fourth ballot update released by Major League Baseball this afternoon. Right fielder Josh Reddick is still in 10th, and trails Alex Gordon for third place by about four million votes and a nearly 4-to-1 margin. Shortstop Marcus Semien falls to a distant fourth.
Two non-Royals gained ground or distance. The only non-Royal in the starting lineup, Mike Trout, is still in second in the outfield voting but increased his distance from Alex Gordon by around 100,000 votes, and from Alex Rios by around 500,000 votes. Miguel Cabrera closed the distance to Eric Hosmer from 600,000 votes to 500,000.
Let's go all in on the Royals
There's still time for other teams to make a push, but the Royals are one Alex Rios away from being the American League All-Star team. Omar Infante has moved into the lead at second base over Jose Altuve, and Jason Kipnis' MVP caliber season is still only good enough for a distant third place. Among second basemen that qualify for the batting title, Infante is 10th out of 10 in WAR with -0.7 on Fangraphs, batting .204/.213/.283 in 197 plate appearances.
As Royals Review's Josh Duggan points out, the terrible/wonderful thing about Omar Infante getting voted into the All-Star Game is that Infante has an All-Star escalator in his contract. According to Cot's Contracts, Infante would earn a $250,000 bonus each year for the rest of his deal (through 2017 with a 2018 buyout) for being selected to the All-Star Game. It's peanuts compared to the $25.25 million he is guaranteed, but I enjoy watching the world burn.
Whoever starts the All-Star Game does not matter. Really. If you care about home field advantage in the World Series, the reserves will come in after each has had their turn at bat against the National League's best pitcher that did not start the Sunday before, and so the American League's actual best hitters will get their chances against the National League's lesser (but still All-Star) pitchers. Any one major league baseball game is a slightly unfair coin flip, and really all we want is a coin flip to resolve the consequence of having to play an odd number of games in the World Series.
So let the world burn. #VoteOmar. #VoteAlex. Vote for the only two A's position players with a prayer of making the game, Stephen Vogt and Josh Redick, and stick the Royals in on the rest of your ballot. Let's go all in on this thing. The correct All-Stars will get chosen as reserves, but I want to watch the world burn in histrionics about how terrible the All-Star voting is and that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE to protect the sacred Mid-Summer Classic from the fans or the Internet or the state of Missouri.
#VoteOmar, #VoteAlex, #VoteVogt, #VoteReddick.