Barring a late surge in fan voting or a high-level hacking job by some computer whiz, the Texas Rangers aren’t going to have a starter next month at the All-Star Game in San Diego.
Third baseman Adrian Beltre and shortstop Elvis Andrus are the highest-ranking Rangers in the latest vote count, with each placing fourth at his position. Ian Desmond sits ninth among outfielders.
None of the three is close to a starting spot.
The thinking, though, is that the best team in the American League will be represented by more than the requisite one player.
Though Beltre doesn’t consider himself a candidate, he is. He said that Desmond is the top candidate along with Tuesday’s starter, Colby Lewis, and Wednesday’s scheduled starter, Cole Hamels.
“For sure there are a couple,” Beltre said. “Ian should be there. Elvis has the numbers for that. On the pitching side, Cole has the numbers and Colby has the numbers. So, we’ll see.”
Beltre said that he would be surprised if he was picked either by manager Ned Yost or by the players, and he might turn down a selection so that he can take four days off to rest his left hamstring.
Desmond, who was voted as the Rangers’ Player of the Month for May, is bidding for the June award, too, with a .351 batting average four homers, 14 RBIs and 13 runs entering Tuesday.
Overall, Desmond was batting a team-best .312 with 11 homers and a team-leading 46 RBIs. He is expected to have an off day Wednesday with Ryan Rua making his first career start in center field.
Left-hander Derek Holland said that he needs to get his, um, stuff together after a third straight short start Monday night.
He lasted only 4 1/3 after going five innings June 10 and 3 2/3 innings June 15. The Rangers, though, won two of those starts and are 8-6 when he has started this season.
But Holland is hardly pleased.
“I’m not happy with myself,” he said. “I shouldn’t be doing as bad as I am. I feel like there needs to be something, and I plan on getting it done. I’m working on the ways. It’s just a frustrating time right now.
“But, at the same time, we’re winning. As long as we’re winning, that’s the main thing. That’s what it comes down to.”
Holland said that he isn’t executing his pitches and is leaving too many of them where opposing hitters can hit them. The Baltimore Orioles collected nine hits Monday, but only one after they loaded the bases with no outs in the third.
Manager Jeff Banister removed Holland after 91 pitches, saying he had labored all game. The short start put another heavy burden on the bullpen, which responded with 4 2/3 scoreless innings in a 4-3 win.
“It’s always the same thing,” Holland said. “It’s always execution and it’s always getting pitches where they need to be. I’m missing spots, and that’s what’s hurting me.”
▪ The Rangers struck a trade with the Los Angeles Angels for infielder Kyle Kubitza, the former Colleyville Heritage star who had been designated for assignment June 13. Kubitza was a first-team District 5-5A first baseman in 2008 with the Panthers and was the Atlanta Braves’ third-round pick out of Texas State in 2011. He was with the Angels’ Triple A team this season.
▪ The Rangers honored the 1996 team that won the franchise’s first division title before the opener against Cincinnati. More than 20 players, coaches and front-office members from 1996 were part of the ceremony. Earlier in the day, the reconfigured Oates Field at the MLB Youth Academy in West Dallas was dedicated with the wife of former manager Johnny Oates and 1996 team members Ivan Rodriguez and Will Clark.