The final AL All-Star balloting update before the teams are set

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There’s still time to vote, but if it ended now, the AL All-Star team would look like so.

The only change to a starter over last week’s results: Robinson Cano taking over first place at second base from Ian Kinsler. Downballot, we see A-Rod passing Evan Longoria for third place at third base, a flip-flop of Nelson Cruz and Adam Jones at 4-5 among outfielders and Adam Dunn passing Raul Ibanez for third place among DH’s. So it’s mostly ho-hum.

CATCHER
Mike Napoli, Rangers: 3,008,228
Joe Mauer, Twins: 1,772,228
Matt Wieters, Orioles: 1,623,459

FIRST BASE
Prince Fielder, Tigers: 2,825,532
Paul Konerko, White Sox: 2,261,388
Mark Teixeira, Yankees: 1,863,873

SECOND BASE
Robinson Cano, Yankees: 3,559,290
Ian Kinsler, Rangers: 3,462,367
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox: 1,666,282

THIRD BASE
Adrian Beltre, Rangers: 3,073,541
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: 2,692,047
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: 1,748,534

SHORTSTOP
Derek Jeter, Yankees: 4,407,982
Elvis Andrus, Rangers: 2,764,888
J.J. Hardy, Orioles: 1,331,927

OUTFIELD
Josh Hamilton, Rangers: 7,310,824
Curtis Granderson, Yankees: 3,812,339
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays: 2,773,442
Nelson Cruz, Rangers: 2,681,019
Adam Jones, Orioles: 2,633,259
David Murphy, Rangers: 1,738,805

DH
David Ortiz, Red Sox: 3,128,711
Michael Young, Rangers: 2,564,572
Adam Dunn: 1,436,643

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.