Hill, Scutaro still in the All-Star running
Jays infielders need votes to head to Midsummer Classic
TORONTO -- Time is running out for Blue Jays fans to cast enough votes to send second baseman Aaron Hill and shortstop Marco Scutaro to this season's All-Star Game as starters. Considering the way the pair have played, though, they might still receive tickets to St. Louis.
Hill and Scutaro each rank fourth in balloting at their respective positions, leaving them with a slim chance of being named to the league's starting lineup. That doesn't mean their play hasn't warranted serious consideration for inclusion in the Midsummer Classic on July 14 in St. Louis, and Toronto bench coach Brian Butterfield is hoping Hill and Scutaro get the chance to take part in the festivities.
"That would be a blast," said Butterfield, who doubles as the Jays' infield instructor. "You want all your players to be there, but to have one or two of our infielders who have worked so hard, and you've worked hard alongside them, that would be really enjoyable to see happen. They've both played very well. They're playing the game right."
As a pair, Hill and Scutaro combined for 73 RBIs through Toronto's first 65 games, representing the highest total among middle-infield duos in the American League. Up to that point, Hill was batting .313 with 14 home runs and 44 RBIs, while Scutaro held a .298 average and a .397 on-base percentage with five homers and 29 RBIs.
Among AL second basemen, Hill trailed Texas' Ian Kinsler, Boston's Dustin Pedroia and New York's Robinson Cano in the All-Star voting. Scutaro was fourth behind New York's Derek Jeter, Tampa Bay's Jason Bartlett and Texas' Elvis Andrus. Besides Hill and Scutaro, Toronto third baseman Scott Rolen ranked fifth in balloting for his position.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET. At Rogers Centre in Toronto, Blue Jays fans can continue to cast ballots at the ballpark until June 23.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com.
And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.