On July 16, the 2013 MLB All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field in New York. The races for starting spots are starting to grow tighter with less than a week left to vote, as fans submit ballot after ballot after ballot for their favorites. Well, some of the races are getting tighter, anyway: The NL shortstop voting isn't even remotely close at this point.
Troy Tulowitzki leads second-place Brandon Crawford by more than a million votes despite being out with a broken rib -- to be fair, most of those votes were tallied before his stint on the disabled list -- and it is that injury that could lead to Crawford or maybe even another shortstop ultimately assuming the starting role in Queens in the midsummer classic.
Troy Tulowitzki, 3,104,285
As said, Tulowitzki is recovering from a broken rib,and may be unable to participate in the game despite his absurd vote total. Even if he is well enough to play, he may not see a benefit to making his return in an exhibition contest. (Sorry, Mr. Commissioner -- when you're hurt, the whole "This time it counts" angle doesn't cut it.) Tulowitzki had been putting together a tremendous season prior to his injury, hitting .347/.413/.635 in 61 games like he wasn't even aware shortstops aren't supposed to do that.
Brandon Crawford, 1,757,255
Crawford could always field, but the progress that he has made at the plate this season has transformed him into an entirely different animal. His OPS+ has him at 16 percent better than league average, and 21 percent better tahn your average shortstop at the plate. The fact he's doing this while playing high-quality defense for a contending team -- the defending world champions, no less -- explains why he's received so many votes. Despite the fact that he is no Tulowitzki -- let's be honest, no one is -- Crawford would be a worthy replacement if the Rockies infielder is ultimately unable to fulfill his duties.
Jean Segura, 1,625,753
With all the talk of Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and now Yasiel Puig as well, this young sensation does not get nearly enough press for what has been an excellent season. Segura, who is just 23, is currently the owner of a .332/.364/.521 slash line that makes Crawford's bat look unimpressive in comparison. He's leading the National League in hits and triples, and has been 62 percent than your average shortstop, via OPS+. For a game that is supposed to showcase the sport, Segura should certainly get the opportunity to show off. He could be the Brewers' representative in the game if he fails to overtake Crawford in the voting, so there's still a chance to see him on that national stage even if he remains in third.