Papi leading at DH on AL All-Star ballot
Pedroia ranks third at second base; Pierzynski fourth at catcher
Though David Ortiz doesn't have any more games scheduled for Target Field this season, he might get to take aim at the fences of one of his favorite road venues one more time this season.
Boston's star slugger was the leading vote-getter at designated hitter when the first round of All-Star balloting was announced Tuesday. Target Field is the venue for this year's All-Star Game.
Back when Ortiz played for the Twins from 1997-2002, the Metrodome was his home park.
But every time Big Papi plays at Target Field, he looks completely at home.
In 14 career games at the Twins' new park, Ortiz is a .509 hitter (29-for-57) with nine homers, 22 RBIs and a 1.615 OPS.
Ortiz has 501,808 votes, putting him ahead of Nelson Cruz (484,186) at DH.
Dustin Pedroia is another strong candidate to represent the Red Sox at the Midsummer Classic, as he currently ranks third at second base. Ian Kinsler (356,244) and Robinson Cano (350,293) are slightly ahead of Pedroia (343,321).
For many years, Pedroia and Ortiz have been the two leaders of Boston's offense.
"Whether it's going bad or going good, they're the leaders of our everyday lineup," said John Farrell, who will manage the American League All-Stars. "It's not going to be resting upon their shoulders solely but they're the main cogs in it."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
The 2014 All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. The AL will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL will have eight fan-elected starters. Pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by All-Star managers Mike Matheny (NL) and John Farrell (AL).
Immediately following the announcement of the rosters, you can select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Choose again at that point from among five players in each league. The Final Vote returns for its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast to date, and you'll be able to make selections on MLB.com, club sites and your mobile device.
You'll be on a voting tear at that point, having already selected starters and the last men, and the ritual will not end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the big game, vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi. The fan voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
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.
A.J. Pierzynski, another former Twin, ranks fourth at catcher. In his first year with the Red Sox, Pierzynski has 188,288 votes. Matt Wieters (540,258 votes) is the current leader behind the plate.