Texas Rangers

MLB All-Star voting opens Friday. Rangers better call in the Russians

Nomar Mazara must somehow get more votes than Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge to be a starting outfielder at the 2018 All-Star Game, and Joey Gallo needs a homer surge in June to improve his chances at first base.
Nomar Mazara must somehow get more votes than Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge to be a starting outfielder at the 2018 All-Star Game, and Joey Gallo needs a homer surge in June to improve his chances at first base. The Canadian Press via AP

Voting for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game will open Friday, when fans will get their chance to cast a ballot or multiple ballots for the players they want to see in the July 17 Midsummer Classic in Washington.

The ballots are created before the season, so there are the occasional hiccups. When it comes to the Texas Rangers, infielder Jurickson Profar appears on the ballot as an outfielder as club officials speculated that he might wind up there.

The fan vote isn't perfect, and the players and managers always snub a deserving player.

Oftentimes it's a popularity test. Take, for instance, voting for American League designated hitter.

It's a crowded field with many deserving candidates, chief among them Boston Red Sox outfielder J.D. Martinez. But he won't be elected as the starter. Shohei Ohtani, the Japanese star who spurned the Rangers for the Los Angeles Angels, will.

He's probably deserving, too, and maybe he should be picked as pitcher. The chances of the Angels letting their prized rookie pitch are about as good as a Rangers player getting selected to start.

In other words, lousy.

Maybe it's time to call in the Russians.

The Rangers' best bet before the season was Adrian Beltre, who, as expected, came off the disabled list before the Rangers closed out their four-game series at Safeco Field against the Seattle Mariners. Maybe reputation and affection and appreciation for his career help him get some votes, and third base is probably the thinnest position on the AL ballot.



First base is also thin, and maybe June home-run surge earns Joey Gallo some attention.

With shortstop Elvis Andrus also hurt, the Rangers' best two candidates look to be outfielder Nomar Mazara and DH Shin-Soo Choo.

All Mazara has to do is get more votes than Angels star Mike Trout, Red Sox star Mookie Betts and New York Yankees star Aaron Judge. Choo has an impossible task with Ohtani, Martinez and Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton in the DH pool.

The Rangers will have to pin their hopes to the player vote, where Beltre, Mazara and Choo have better odds.

It's looking like a second straight year with only one Rangers representative, and chances are that it will be a pitcher.

Closer Keone Kela is making a case for himself, and Cole Hamels and, yes, Bartolo Colon will merit consideration.

Hamels has reputation on his side with four previous All-Star appearances and the likelihood that his numbers will improve, as has been his track record as he has gotten deeper into seasons.

If fans could vote for pitchers, Colon might get a nod. Everyone seems to love "Big Sexy," and he has pitched well this season despite his generosity at surrendering home runs.

Or maybe Rangers fans will go crazy and stuff the ballot box in the online-only voting.

And there's always collusion from the Russians.

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