Twins urge fans to vote for 'Bomba Ballot'
MINNEAPOLIS -- Miguel Sano, with some help from his friends, carefully lined up four jerseys -- those of Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario, shortstop Jorge Polanco, first baseman C.J. Cron and designated hitter Nelson Cruz -- in prime view of the television cameras and then made his plea.
Donning his new “Bomba Ballot” T-shirt, the third baseman sat in front of Cruz’s locker and implored fans to vote for his teammates to start next month’s All-Star Game.
The second round of voting, which will determine the starters, begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 26, and runs through 3 p.m. Thursday. This comes after a first round in which the top three vote-getters at each position -- top nine in the outfield -- advanced.
“A couple players, they did it for me in 2017 when I made the All-Star Game, and I think I need to do the same that those guys do for me,” Sano said. “… Those guys need to start in 2019 in Cleveland at the All-Star Game.”
Polanco appears to have the best chance of the bunch, finishing first among AL shortstops. Cron and Cruz were both third at their positions while Rosario was sixth. Right fielder Max Kepler fell 138 votes short of moving on to the second round.
Vote totals reset to zero after the first round.
“It means a lot. It’s a dream come true. Every player wants to be in the All-Star Game and they want to start,” Polanco said. “It’s a dream come true for me if I start.”
The Twins are doing a number of things to encourage fans to vote, including having the Minneapolis Police Department bring a Bomb Squad vehicle to Target Plaza at 3 p.m. Wednesday. They are offering an $11 ballpark access ticket to an August game for those who vote. Fans who vote will also be entered automatically in the team’s sweepstakes to win a trip for two to the All-Star Game.
Fans can vote once during the election period on the Twins’ official website. They can receive an extra vote via Google, though those who only vote that way will not be eligible for the ticket offer or sweepstakes.
The winners of the starters election will be announced Thursday night. Reserves and pitchers will be announced Sunday.
Polanco is facing off against the Astros’ Carlos Correa, who has been injured since May, and the Yankees’ Gleyber Torres. At first base, Cron is up against the Yankees’ Luke Voit and the Indians’ Carlos Santana. That figures to be a tight race: In the first round, just 160,586 votes separated Voit in first place from Cron in third, with all three receiving over 1 million votes.
“It’s very humbling and an honor for sure,” Cron said. “The sheer fact of how many votes is mindboggling, (and that) that many people logged into their phones and took time out of their day to vote for me is pretty special. It means a lot. It’s a good feeling for sure.”
Cruz, bidding for his seventh All-Star game nod, is up against the Red Sox’s J.D. Martinez and the Rangers’ Hunter Pence.
Rosario faces off against Mike Trout (Angels), George Springer (Astros), Michael Brantley (Astros), Austin Meadows (Rays), Mookie Betts (Red Sox), Aaron Judge (Yankees), Josh Reddick (Astros) and Joey Gallo (Rangers).
He, too, made his plea.
“Remember, vote for me,” Rosario said.
Three Twins on IL close to returns
Marwin Gonzalez took some grounders, Byron Buxton took some swings and Ehire Adrianza pronounced himself ready to go once his 10 days on the injured list are up.
The Twins returned to Target Field on Tuesday, reuniting with Gonzalez and Adrianza, who stayed back from the last road trip, and receiving positive news on the injury front.
Buxton, who was eligible to come off the IL on Tuesday, said Sunday that he was feeling good but not yet 100 percent. During his recovery from being hit by a pitch on the right wrist, the Twins, have been giving him a day off in between hitting.
Manager Rocco Baldelli said it was a possibility that Buxton would be sent out on a rehab assignment. The Twins plan to have him hit again either Wednesday or Thursday.
Gonzalez, who strained his right hamstring, ran at 70 percent on Tuesday after spending the previous days doing exercise and rehab in the training room. It was the first time Gonzalez, who has played all four infield positions and in the outfield this season, had tested out running since getting injured, he said. He was also out in the infield early pregame taking grounders.
Adrianza, a backup infielder who is dealing with abdominal issues, said he is feeling much better. Adrianza said he has dealt with stomach irritation since he was a child and expects to deal with it for the rest of his life.
Before he was placed on the IL, he was dealing with some weakness, but time off has helped with that, he said. His doctors recommended making changes to his diet.
Adrianza said he is feeling pretty good now and thinks he is ready to go. Baldelli, too, said he thinks Adrianza should be in “a good spot” to come off the IL at 10 days or pretty close to that.
Moya released, Torreyes reinstated
The Twins designated lefty Gabriel Moya for assignment. Moya had been pitching at Triple-A Rochester, where he had a 7.36 ERA in 19 games spanning 22 innings this season. The 24-year-old had posted a career 4.64 ERA in 42 2/3 innings with the Twins between 2017 and 2018.
They made the move to make room for infielder Ronald Torreyes, who was activated from the restricted list. Torreyes was transferred from Triple-A to Single-A Advanced Fort Myers.