McGehee needs support as Twitter enters Final Vote
Third baseman sits fifth in National League standings; voting ends today at 4 p.m. ET
PHOENIX -- Miami fans have a few more hours to flex their muscles for Casey McGehee.
McGehee currently ranks fifth in the National League Final Vote, but fans can speak their minds via Twitter until 4 p.m. ET this afternoon. Marlins fans can support McGehee by tweeting to #VoteMcGehee over the next few hours, but he has a tough road to climb.
Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo currently leads the NL Final Vote candidates, and Colorado first baseman Justin Morneau is the closest candidate to overtaking him. Atlanta's Justin Upton sits third in the voting, and Washington's Anthony Rendon is fourth in the Final Vote balloting.
Over the final six hours, tweets using the designated hashtag of any candidate will be counted as part of his final vote tally. With races this close, fan support on Twitter during these final hours of online balloting could play a key role in determining which players take those final two All-Star roster spots.
McGehee has played exclusively at third base for the Marlins this season, and he's batting .320 with a .387 on-base percentage in his first 90 games. McGehee leads the NL with 112 hits.
It's easy to note McGehee's high batting average, superb on-base percentage and NL lead in hits, but some of the things that teammates think make McGehee an All-Star don't necessarily show up in the box score.
"Knowing how big a part Casey has been to our success so far this year and what he's been able to do and from where he's been, where he was last year -- it's a great story," manager Mike Redmond said Tuesday.
Final Vote candidates
|P||Dallas Keuchel, HOU|
|P||Corey Kluber, CLE|
|P||Rick Porcello, DET|
|P||Garrett Richards, LAA|
|P||Chris Sale, CWS|
|1B||Justin Morneau, COL|
|2B||Anthony Rendon, WAS|
|1B||Anthony Rizzo, CHC|
|3B||Casey McGehee, MIA|
|OF||Justin Upton, ATL|
As well as McGehee has done this season, one of his major contributions has been the lineup protection he provides. Hitting cleanup, McGehee performing well makes it tougher for pitchers to go against the Marlins' No. 3 hitter -- All-Star Giancarlo Stanton. That protection has enabled Stanton to lead the NL in RBIs (63) and home runs (21), entering Thursday.
And when pitchers do pitch around Stanton, who leads the league in intentional walks (15), McGehee can make them pay. Although he has only one home run this year, the veteran third baseman is seventh in the NL with 53 RBIs.
"I like to think I've helped us score some runs," McGehee said. "But it's not just one guy or two guys. It's really been a collective effort."
Said Redmond: "I know, and he knows, how important he is to our ballclub, and we all hope that he gets rewarded for it.
"But we understand, too, that it may not [happen]. But if it does, we're going to be pumped for him."
There are big names supporting the Marlins third baseman. American and Japanese players and teams have tweeted support for McGehee, and so have All-Star pitchers Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka, who was McGehee's teammate on the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Pacific League in 2013.
"It's definitely cool," McGehee said. "Hopefully it kind of takes off and can make it all worthwhile for all the people that have taken the time to support me. But it remains to be seen, but it's definitely cool to have the people that are supporting me behind me. It means a lot to me."
Immediately following the announcement of the American League and NL All-Star rosters on Sunday, fans began voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until the winners are announced after the voting concludes today at 4 p.m. ET.
Fans can also cast votes on the mobile web at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the Final Vote ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text their choice to 89269. For example: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Standard message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.
For the third consecutive year, the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote will include social balloting participation, as Twitter support from the 10 candidates' fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET today, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners. Fans will be able to follow @MLB for the latest standings updates over the course of the entire four-day voting period.
The hashtags and text designations are as follows:
Dallas Keuchel: #VoteKeuchel (A1)
Corey Kluber: #VoteKluber (A2)
Rick Porcello: #PickRick (A3)
Garrett Richards: #VoteGRich (A4)
Chris Sale: #TargetSale (A5)
Casey McGehee: #VoteHitsMcGehee (N1)
Justin Morneau: #VoteMorneau (N2)
Anthony Rendon: #VoteRendon (N3)
Anthony Rizzo: #VoteRizzo (N4)
Justin Upton: #VoteJUp (N5)
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again allow fans to help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.