CHICAGO -- The final American League All-Star voting update on Monday, with votes cast via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, did not include any White Sox position players in the top five and no outfielder in the top 15.
With the team's season-long offensive struggles, there really isn't an everyday player outside of first baseman Jose Abreu deserving of that sort of recognition. But pitching coach Don Cooper has a word of advice for those putting together the 2015 AL All-Star team.
Actually, it's more a restatement of the obvious.
"If the All-Star Game means anything, I want Chris Sale on the team if I'm in charge of putting names on it," said Cooper of one of the game's top pitchers.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- using the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT. For the first time, voting is exclusively online, where fans may submit up to 35 ballots.
Fans may also receive the ballot by texting VOTE to 89269 (USA) or 101010 (Canada). Or text VOTA for a ballot in Spanish. Message and data rates may apply. Up to five messages. No purchase required. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for info.
The 2015 All-Star starters will be unveiled on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. CT on the Esurance All-Star Starters Selection Show on ESPN. Then on Monday at 6 p.m., the All-Star reserves, pitchers and Final Vote candidates will be announced on the Esurance All-Star Selection Show on ESPN, immediately after which fans can return to MLB.com to begin casting their 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Votes for the final player for each league's All-Star roster. Final Vote ends Friday, July 10, at 3 p.m. On Tuesday, July 14, watch the 2015 All-Star Game live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2015 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of All-Star Week festivities.
The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Abreu is hitting a solid .291 with 13 homers, 41 RBIs and a .838 OPS. He tops the team in each of these respective categories, along with his 43 runs scored. It's Sale's first-half work, though, which has reached historic proportions.
In his 100th career start, scheduled for Tuesday night at Busch Stadium against the Cardinals, Sale seeks to join Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in Major League history to record eight straight games with 10-plus strikeouts. Sale is on pace for a franchise-record 286 strikeouts, and he has been on pace for greatness since Day 1.
"He was well on his way to being one of the baddest left-handed relievers in the American League," said Cooper of Sale's early days.
"Before he was throwing hard and snapping everything, every pitch was all out," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Sale's development as a starter. "He's not that way anymore, but when he needs it, he can get back after it."