Sox lag as All-Star voting winds down

With less than a week left in the balloting, there is almost no chance that a Red Sox position player will be elected a starter to the American League All-Star team, the first time since 1998 that the Sox will not have a starter in the game.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia was the only Sox player ranking as high as second in vote totals released Monday by the AL, but he trailed Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano by over 1.4 million votes. Pedroia, on the disabled list with a broken bone in his left foot and expected to miss six weeks, almost certainly would have been chosen to the team, but his injury makes that moot.

David Ortiz ranks third in the DH voting, but he has less than 1 million total votes, nearly 2 million votes behind Texas DH Vladimir Guerrero. Hideki Matsui of the Angels is second, a little less than 300,000 votes ahead of Ortiz.

Sox catcher Victor Martinez is third in the voting at his position, one in which Joe Mauer has attracted almost 4 million votes, most of any AL player. Yankees catcher Jorge Posada is second, a little more than 400,000 votes ahead of Martinez.

Two Sox infielders rank fourth at their positions. Kevin Youkilis trails Justin Morneau of the Twins, Mark Teixeira of the Yankees and Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers at first base, while third baseman Adrian Beltre trails Evan Longoria of the Rays, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees, and Michael Young of the Rangers.

In-stadium balloting ended last week. Votes can still be cast on MLB.com until Thursday at 11:59 p.m.

The All-Star teams will be announced at noon Sunday on TBS. Nine starters on the AL team will be selected in fan balloting, eight on the NL team. All-Star rosters have been expanded by two players this season, to 34. An additional 24 AL pitchers and reserves will be selected via player ballot and input from manager Joe Girardi and MLB officials. Twenty-three NL pitchers and reserves will be selected via player ballot and input from manager Charlie Manuel and MLB officials.

The 34th player on each squad will be picked off a five-player ballot in each league in “Final Vote” on-line balloting.

Sox pitchers Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester are strong candidates to be selected by Girardi to the AL pitching staff, and, depending on how creative Girardi wants to be, setup man Daniel Bard is deserving of consideration.

The game is scheduled for Tuesday, July 13, in Anaheim.