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Blue Jays in need of All-Star votes

Blue Jays in need of All-Star votes

Roy Halladay doesn't have to be the Blue Jays' only All-Star.

Toronto's ace is the odds-on favorite to represent Toronto at the Midsummer Classic, but the surprising Jays have a few other players who have made All-Star statements in the first two months of the season. Despite those efforts, none of the Blue Jays cracked the top five in balloting at their respective positions.

The most surprising may have been Shea Hillenbrand, Toronto's designated hitter. Hillenbrand's been an All-Star once before, and he played like it for the first eight weeks of this season. He's had a little dip in the road since then, but he still weighs in with a .323 average and 63 hits in his first 50 games. He's listed on the ballot as a DH, where he's sixth in the voting, but he's served some time at both infield corners for Toronto.

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Orlando Hudson's another player with an interesting resume, but you won't be able to tell it from his offensive stats. Hudson's hitting .260, but he has 22 runs scored and 21 RBIs from the team's leadoff slot. The switch-hitter is a nightly fixture on the highlight reels for his defensive play, and he's quickly becoming a favorite for the Gold Glove at second base. Will that be enough to grant him All-Star status?

If not, who else could it be? Vernon Wells, an All-Star in '03, is off to a slow start. Corey Koskie, Toronto's third baseman, is on the disabled list for the next month or more.

Alex Rios and Gregg Zaun are having solid seasons, but they're playing at deep positions in the American League -- outfield and catcher, respectively. Ditto for Eric Hinske, Toronto's first baseman. He's hitting .285 with 17 extra-base hits, but he has to contend with players like Mark Teixeira and Tino Martinez.

That's where the fans come in. Voting for this year's contest, which will be played in Detroit on July 12, is ongoing at both bluejays.com and MLB.com.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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