Nelson Cruz is off to a big early lead in his bid to become the American League’s starting designated hitter in the All-Star Game on July 11 in Miami.
Cruz holds a lead of 174,213 votes over Cleveland’s Edwin Encarnacion in the first balloting update on AL vote totals, released Wednesday by Major League Baseball.
Robinson Cano ranks fourth among second basemen, and Jean Segura is fifth among shortstops. Both are far behind the leaders.
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No other Mariners are cited in the results, which list the top 15 outfielders and top five at all other positions except pitcher. The All-Star pitching staffs are not determined through the voting process.
The National League’s first results were released Tuesday.
Cruz is seeking to become an All-Star for the fifth time in his career. He was selected as a starter in 2014 and 2015 and served as a reserve in 2009 and 2013. He has 457,050 votes; Encarnacion is second at 282,837.
Cano is a seven-time All-Star who was voted as a starter on five occasions. He was the Mariners’ only representative last season but faces a steep climb this year to win his way into the starting lineup.
New York’s Starlin Castro leads all second basemen with 516,268 votes, but Houston’s Jose Altuve is a close second at 515,732. Cano has 159,557.
Segura was picked as a National League reserve in 2013 while playing for Milwaukee. Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor leads the balloting with 602,238 votes with Houston’s Carlos Correa a distant second at 253,518. Segura has 169,487.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners