CLEVELAND -- There are just eight days before the closing of voting for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game, and several members of the Cleveland Indians remain on the outside looking in for an appearance in the Mid-Summer Classic, which will be played July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami.
Currently, shortstop Francisco Lindor and third baseman Jose Ramirez are in second place at their respective positions. Additionally, there are several Indians among the top-five vote-getters, including second baseman Jason Kipnis (third), outfielder Michael Brantley and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (fourth), as well as first baseman Carlos Santana and catcher Yan Gomes (fifth).
Voting aside, here are four Indians who deserve to be on the American League All-Star team.
Over 68 games this season, Ramirez has 83 hits in 259 at-bats (.320 batting average), including 37 for extra bases (23 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs). Ramirez has driven in 34 runs, scored 45 and drawn 23 walks against 36 strikeouts.
Ramirez leads the Indians in runs, hits, doubles and triples, is third in home runs, fourth in RBI and tied for first with seven stolen bases.
By getting 21 hits in 37 at-bats over the last seven days, Ramirez raised his batting average by 36 points. Ramirez smacked 10 doubles, one triple and three home runs with seven RBI and 12 runs scored, all while leading the Indians to a six-game winning streak.
Ramirez had at least one double in seven straight games, including multiple two-base hits in three of his last five outings prior to Tuesday’s loss at Baltimore.
Lindor has garnered 1,300,013 votes and trails only Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1,658,255 votes). Overall, Lindor has gotten the seventh-most votes of any player in the American League, regardless of position.
Through 67 games this season for the reigning American League champions, Lindor has 68 hits, including 34 for extra bases (20 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs), in 268 at-bats with 41 runs scored, 30 driven in and 25 walks against 38 strikeouts.
Lindor leads the Indians in at-bats, ranks second in hits, doubles and home runs, third in walks, fourth in runs scored and tied for fifth in RBI.
The Indians went in search of a right-handed power bat for the middle of the lineup in the offseason, and they sure found one in Encarnacion, who signed with the team because he believed in Cleveland’s chances to win the World Series.
And the slugging first baseman/designated hitter is doing his part, especially recently, to ensure the Indians remain at the top of the AL Central Division.
Encarnacion is hitting .265 with seven doubles, 17 home runs, 39 RBI, 43 runs scored and 43 walks against 66 strikeouts in 67 games for the Indians.
Over the last seven days, Encarnacion has 12 hits in 28 at-bats, including five home runs, 13 RBI, 15 runs scored and 10 walks.
RELIEVER ANDREW MILLER
Unlike position players, fans do not get to vote for pitchers selected to the MLB All-Star Game, but the Indians have several pitchers deserving of consideration, most notably the reigning American League Championship Series MVP Andrew Miller.
Over 31 appearances out of the bullpen, his first full year with the Indians after being acquired last July, Miller has a 3-2 record with one save and 15 holds, a 1.51 earned run average and a 0.76 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched).
In 35.2 innings of work, the 6-foot-7, 205-pound Miller has registered 51 strikeouts and allowed just eight walks.