Brian Dozier has been one of the pleasant surprises in baseball this season, but he’s not enough of a surprise in the eyes of All-Star voters.
The first update for the American League All-Star balloting was released Tuesday, and the Twins had only two players among the top five vote-getters at any position and none higher than fourth. Dozier is the Twins’ leading vote-getter at 194,941, good for fourth among second baseman. Kurt Suzuki is the only other Twin in the top five, with 187,766 votes at catcher, good for fifth place.
“They both have had good starts to the season,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You would expect that they would get recognized by people for going out and getting it done. Dozier has gotten a lot of publicity and Suzuki has been fantastic for us.”
Joe Mauer, the most well-known Twin and a six-time All-Star, is not among the top five first basemen.
The Midsummer Classic is scheduled for July 15 at Target Field.
Dozier entered Tuesday batting .246 with 11 home runs, 26 RBI, 30 walks and 12 stolen bases. He’s on pace for a 30-homers, 30-steals season. Dozier has some things going for him — his on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .796 is fourth among AL second baseman — but his batting average is only seventh best. The Tigers’ Ian Kinsler and the Mariners’ Robinson Cano are 1-2 in the voting and are first and third in OPS. Dozier is just more than 161,000 votes out of first place.
“I really do believe that stuff will take care of itself,” Dozier said. “I just keep playing.”
Suzuki has been a surprise of his own, entering Tuesday batting .299 with 27 RBI. He leads all qualified AL catchers in batting average, on-base percentage and RBI and is second in OPS.
The Orioles’ Matt Wieters leads with 540,258 votes — more than 352,000 ahead of Suzuki — but has been limited to 26 games because of a strained right elbow.
“[Suzuki’s] been a big pickup for us,” Gardenhire said. “He’s had a lot of clutch RBI. There’s some people punching those holes for him.”
Balloting in all stadiums began May 12 and ends June 26. After that, fans can vote online (up to 25 times) until 11:59 p.m. on July 3.
Fans vote for All-Star starting position players. The pitchers and reserves for both squads will be determined through a combination of a player ballot and selections made by AL manager John Farrell and NL manager Mike Matheny. That will be how Phil Hughes, who entered Tuesday’s start 5-1 with a 3.15 ERA, and closer Glen Perkins, who entered Tuesday tied for the AL lead with 14 saves, could land spots on the team.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire already has agreed to be part of Farrell’s coaching staff at the game.