Here we go again. It's that time of the year when fans vote for their preferred players to be named to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game starting lineup, and the hot takes run rampant. Well, the Detroit Tigers have no one in the lead and Ian Kinsler isn't even among the top five vote-gettters.
Now, Tigers fans go through this every year. Last season Miguel Cabrera was in danger of being a secondary until the very end -- and he ended up missing the whole shebang for an injury -- and there was no shortage of outrage. If the All-Star Game didn't count for anything beyond a fun midseason break, the Midsummer Classic probably wouldn't draw the same heated cries for justice.
But it does, and it's sure to have the same result this year, too.
Speaking of which, here are the latest results. The Tigers have no one in the top five at catcher, which, well that's understandable. After returning from the disabled list for his right ankle sprain, James McCann has been a black hole, offensively. His defensive skills have been marginal and the only true strength has been his cannon for an arm. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, while true he got off to a hot start, hasn't been particularly helpful in his few starts of late.
Cabrera (466,523 votes) is a distant second at first base, behind the Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer (871,222 votes). Cabrera was in the middle of an 0-for-12 slump until his seventh-inning single on Monday, but before that he'd been on an 18-game tear. During that time he'd hit .418/.474/.806 with seven home runs and had raised his batting average from .262 to .322.
As for Kinsler, though, his non-appearance on the top five is surprising. He's batting .313/.363/.525 with 10 home runs -- which is second-most in the American League only behind Robinson Cano's 15 -- and his 143 wRC+ ranks third in the AL. Only Jose Altuve (first, with a 160 wRC+) and Cano (second, with a 157 wRC+) are higher. Both Altuve and Cano are on the initial results, in first and third place, respectively.
It gets slightly better from there, but only just. Nick Castellanos has the fourth-most votes (253,160), but he's batting .320/.351/.567 with 10 home runs and an AL second-best 147 wRC+ and really should be higher.Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado (630,028) leads the voting and with an AL-leading 166 wRC+ is rightfully in the lead.
For good reason, no Tigers outfielder has earned enough votes for a ballot appearance just yet, though at the rate Cameron Maybin has been swinging the bat he will push himself into the conversation soon enough. Victor Martinez, healthy and hot at the plate once again, has 241,208 votes, good enough only for fourth.
Granted, Martinez is up against the Red Sox's David Ortiz at designated hitter, and with the way Ortiz has been swinging the bat in his final season, it may not be possible to overtake him. All this is to say, it's up to the fans to change the current tallies, and we all know how that goes every season.
Royals catcher Salvador Perez leads the AL in fan balloting for the 2016 MLB All-Star Game presented by MasterCard. pic.twitter.com/lpjHfWsvfH— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) May 31, 2016