Brian Dozier can take that trip Up North after all.
The plan was for him and his wife, Renee, to enjoy cabin living during the All-Star break. But then he started belting pitches into the seats and became a candidate to be voted onto the American League All-Star team.
He finished second to Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas in the All-Star Game Final Vote campaign, which ended Friday. Moustakas received an AL-record 19.3 million votes as he became the seventh player from the Royals selected for Tuesday’s game in Cincinnati. St. Louis righthander Carlos Martinez won the race for the final spot on the National League team.
So Dozier can head to the cabin for a quiet, relaxing All-Star break.
“I wouldn’t say it’s disappointing,” he said. “I feel blessed and honored to make it this far.”
According to MLB, Moustakas had to hold off a late charge from Dozier.
“He’s had a great first half and he’s very deserving and I feel everyone in the running was,” Dozier said. “Their fan base is coming alive, and they were campaigning just as hard we were.”
The Twins waged an elaborate campaign to get fans to #VoteDozier. In the end, it was not enough. The Twins are now 0-for-6 in the Final Vote since it started in 2002.
Dozier, who entered Friday batting .257 with 18 home runs and 47 RBI, is sprinkled among the league leaders in several offensive categories, and his numbers as a second baseman stand out at the position. But Houston’s Jose Altuve was voted the as the starter for the AL, with Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis being elected as a reserve.
“I can’t tell you guys how much support I was just in awe of throughout this week,” Dozier said. “People sending me screenshots of 2,000 text messages. It’s just crazy, the support I received.”
Interest in Feliz
The Twins have shown interest in free-agent righthander Neftali Feliz, according to a source with knowledge of their interest.
Feliz, 27, posted a 4.58 ERA in 18 games with the Rangers before being designated for assignment July 3. He cleared waivers but, as a player with at least five seasons of service time, rejected an outright assignment to the minors to become a free agent instead.
Feliz broke into the majors throwing fastballs of 100 miles per hour. He was the Rangers’ closer for their World Series years of 2010 and 2011 and was an All-Star in 2010. He doesn’t reach 100 anymore, but his fastball averaged 93.8 mph this year, according to fangraphs.com. He had Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2012 and returned late in 2013.
The Twins are looking for bullpen help. They will likely take a look at Feliz’s medicals before proceeding, A handful of other clubs also have expressed interest in Feliz.
Kepler out of Futures
The Twins are down to one representative at Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game after Class AA Chattanooga outfielder Max Kepler was forced to pull out because of a left shoulder strain. Kepler, listed as day to day, injured his shoulder Wednesday while throwing.
The 22-year-old from Germany came alive this season, batting .332 with 22 doubles, eight triples, three home runs, 34 RBI and a .410 on-base percentage.
Righthander Jose Berrios, recently promoted to Class AAA Rochester, will pitch for the World team.