The first round of AL All-Star balloting results have been released

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Gallup has predicted that Jeff Francoeur will lead the balloting. Karl Rove says that these results are skewed. But this is what MLB has so far for the first round of All-Star balloting, with leaders by position, with vote totals:

  • First Base: Chris Davis, 1,176,016
  • Second Base: Robinson Cano 1,235,230
  • Third Base: Miguel Cabrera, 1,500,165
  • Shortstop: Elvis Andrus, 727,555
  • Outfield: Mike Trout, 1,190,676; Adam Jones, 1,181,875; Torii Hunter, 761,937
  • Catcher: Joe Mauer, 863,450
  • Designated Hitter: David Ortiz, 1,045,283

The only close races are at first base, where Prince Fielder is about 117,000 behind Davis, shortstop, where J.J. Hardy trails Andrus by around 10,000 and the third outfield spot where Nelson Cruz trails Hunter by less than 50,000 votes. Every other race sports at least a 150,000 vote spread. Many are much greater. The entire slate of vote totals can be seen here.

That is, until the hackers wake up and start stuffing the virtual ballot box. C’mon, hackers, get to it! I want to see Derek Jeter get voted in! He only has 380,000 votes so far! That’s not enough for someone with his Will to Win, even if he hasn’t played all year.

Corey Knebel sets modern record for consecutive appearances with a strikeout

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Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.

Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.

Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.

Joey Votto thinks he can win the Home Run Derby, but hasn’t been invited yet

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Despite having hit at least 20 home runs in eight of his 11 seasons in the majors, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has never participated in a Home Run Derby. Currently, he’s tied for the National League lead in home runs with 20, and he hasn’t been invited to this year’s festivities at Marlins Park.

In the event he is invited, Votto said he thinks he can win it, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto likened himself to Ichiro Suzuki, a player known more for his contact abilities and mastery of the strike zone than power. “Just think of me as the Canadian Ichiro — Japan has theirs and Canada has theirs,” Votto said. “I could pull homers into the seats at will.”

Along with the 20 homers, Votto is currently hitting .306/.419/.601 with 53 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 313 plate appearances.

Teammate Scott Schebler also has 20 home runs at the moment and Adam Duvall, who made it to the semifinals of the Derby last year, has 16. Neither of them have been approached about participating in the Derby, either. Per Rosecrans, in the event each was invited, Duvall said he would consider participating if he wasn’t an All-Star and Schebler would participate regardless. Votto said he would only participate if he made the All-Star team.