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Will players cast their All-Star game votes for Dodgers' Yasiel Puig?

June 27, 2013|By Bill Shaikin
  • Rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig, center, is hitting .435 with seven home runs and 14 runs batted in for the Dodgers.
Rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig, center, is hitting .435 with seven home… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

Yasiel Puig, all-star? His fellow players have the first say. If a small sample of San Francisco Giants offers any indication, the players might just say no.

The Dodgers phenom does not appear on the fan ballot; he was in the minor leagues when voting started in April. However, players can vote for Puig when they cast their ballots Friday through Sunday.

Puig is batting .435 in his first 22 games, with seven home runs, 13 multi-hit games and 14 runs batted in.

"He's had a great three weeks," San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford said. "I'm sure he will continue to do well. A month, I don't think, really qualifies you as an all-star."

Giants outfielder Hunter Pence also indicated that he would be unlikely to vote for Puig. For now, Pence said, his National League outfield would include Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals and Michael Cuddyer and Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies.

Pence said he respected Puig's ability but suggested he has not played long enough to earn an all-star vote.

"He's definitely talented enough," Pence said. "You can foresee him being in several All-Star games. We'll let the games play out and see what happens."

Players on seven NL teams will vote without having seen Puig in person. Pence said he did not believe that would hurt Puig in the voting.

"You've heard of him," Pence said. "You hear about him every day. There's no one who has not heard of Puig.

"Just because you haven't seen him do it live? You've seen him on TV."

Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum said he did not know whether he would vote for Puig.

"There are a lot of guys doing some big stuff," Lincecum said. "He's been doing so well from the beginning. It's kind of hard not to see a guy like that make his way into the game."

The fans elect the starters among position players. Each league conducts its own player vote, which determines an eight-man pitching staff and one reserve at every other position.

The managers are left with a handful of selections, some of which must be used to ensure every team has a representative. For instance, in the American League last year, Manager Ron Washington used four of his seven picks on players from teams that otherwise would have gone unrepresented.

Giants Manager Bruce Bochy, this year's NL manager, said he did not believe Puig has played long enough to merit a spot on the team.

"He's a very talented kid," Bochy said. "He's done a great job.

"Generally, guys that go to the All-Star game are guys that have a great first half, not a great three weeks. If you ask me a week from now, I may say I've changed my mind."

Puig might find a spot in the "Final Vote," in which MLB selects five finalists for the last spot on the All-Star game roster and lets a fan vote determine the winner.

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