Hard-hitting Arenado proving #ASGWorthy

Hard-hitting Arenado proving #ASGWorthy

DENVER -- Last season, one unfortunate slide derailed the entire thing for Nolan Arenado.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Arenado and other #ASGWorthy players

Heading toward what looked to be his first All-Star campaign, Arenado's chances ended on May 23, 2014, when the Rockies' third basemen fractured his left middle finger on a headfirst slide into second base. Five days later, the initial All-Star Game fan voting update had Arenado first among National League third basemen, but that didn't last as he spent nearly six weeks on the disabled list.

"It was extremely disappointing, upsetting," Arenado said.

His 2015 campaign, though, has a chance to erase those bad memories.

Arenado headlines all NL third basemen in RBIs (54) and is tied for second in home runs after launching his 17th long ball in Sunday's 10-4 win over the Brewers. That homer extended his hitting streak to nine games -- a span that has seen Arenado hit .371 (13-for-35) with seven extra-base hits, raise his overall batting average 14 points to .284 and generate an 1.103 OPS.

He certainly has his manager convinced.

"I think that it's a no-brainer," Walt Weiss said. "I know there's some good players at that position, so it makes it tough. I get that. Not everyone can go. But he deserves to be in that game as much as anybody."

If Arenado does wind up in Cincinnati for the All-Star festivities, he'll have likely arrived using a different form of transportation than before.

The latest fan voting update has Arenado slotted fourth among NL third basemen, trailing the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter by more than 2.7 million votes. That figure doesn't exactly shock Weiss: "We're a club in our own time zone. It makes it a little tougher to get national recognition," he said.

But there are alternate routes.

Through additional voting from managers, players and coaches -- as well as a separate wave of selections done solely by NL All-Star manager Bruce Bochy -- up to 17 additional position players can be picked.

One of these two methods is Arenado's likeliest chance of getting in, which, in a way, would be the most impactful.

"It'd mean a lot from anyone, but if it came from the players, I guess it'd mean a lot more, knowing that we're on the same field," Arenado said. "We're battling each other, and knowing that they see what I'm doing. That would mean a lot that they recognize what I'm doing on the field is All-Star-worthy to them."

If selected, Arenado would become the youngest All-Star in franchise history and the first Rockies third baseman to appear in the Midsummer Classic since Jeff Cirillo (2000).

With the All-Star Game on the horizon, that same dream was crushed a season ago. But it's a new year, and Arenado is surging in the right direction at the right time.

"Nolan's entering that status of being an elite player in this league, and he hasn't played in an All-Star Game yet," Weiss said.

"So he definitely needs to do that."

Dargan Southard is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.