Major League Baseball released their first update on the American League All-Star balloting on Wednesday, and things don't look particularly bright for the Rangers' All-Star chances - not that they should, anyway.
Ian Kinsler leads the club with 207,170 votes, sitting in 3rd place behind Robinson Cano and Placido Polanco for the voting at second base. However, Kinsler's having a miserable May, with a .180/.267/.236 line and just 1 HR in 89 at-bats this month. Ian's also 115,824 votes behind Cano, so he's a major long shot to win.
Sammy Sosa is 11th in the outfield balloting with 195,549 votes, but he's 166,696 votes behind Ichiro, who is in 3rd place and would win the final starting spot if the voting ended today. Sosa's been decent but nothing great offensively, and I would suspect most of his votes are based off of his name rather than his performance.
Michael Young is the final Ranger listed in the results, sitting in 5th place with 129,307 votes. He's more than half a million votes behind Derek Jeter, so there's no competition here.
Personally, I'm having a hard time coming up with a strong candidate for the Rangers' All-Star representative in San Francisco this July. On the pitching side, relievers C.J. Wilson, Aki Otsuka and Eric Gagne have the best chances of making it, but none of them have a real strong case - Gagne and Otsuka only have seven saves between them, while Wilson is a middle reliever.
Despite their excellent performances this season ERA-wise, they don't have many innings on their respective ledgers, and saves are a major factor in determining which relievers make the All-Star rosters (not a single non-closer made it last year).
Offensively, only one guy stands out - Mark Teixeira, who has improved his batting line to .298/.391/.520 after a poor start, and has belted a respectable 9 HR. I suppose Sosa could make it as a nostalgic reserve pick, but I doubt it. Other than Wilson, Gagne, Otsuka and Teixeira, there's not really anybody on this team who deserves to go to the All-Star game.
If I had to guess, Teixeira will be the Rangers' lone All-Star representative as a reserve. The odds aren't looking real great for the Rangers to continue their recent All-Star dominance - Texas players have won two out of the last three All-Star MVP awards, and Hank Blalock hit a game-winning home run off of Eric Gagne in the 2003 All-Star Game.