Twins hoping Dozier, Perkins get All-Star bids

Twins hoping Dozier, Perkins get All-Star bids

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins are without a starting position player in this year's All-Star Game in Cincinnati on July 14, but they are hoping for more than one representative after a surprisingly solid start to the first half of the season.

Closer Glen Perkins, who is a perfect 27-for-27 in save opportunities, is a lock to be named an All-Star for the third straight year, while second baseman Brian Dozier has made a strong case to be considered a reserve. The Twins have had more than one representative in eight of the last 10 years with the only years with one All-Star coming in 2011-12.

Houston's Jose Altuve won the fan balloting at second base over Kansas City's Omar Infante, but Dozier has stiff competition at second base with Cleveland's Jason Kipnis and Boston's Dustin Pedroia also having strong seasons. Dozier leads the American League in extra-base hits with 45 and is tied with Toronto's Josh Donaldson with 61 runs scored.

Perkins notches the save

"We can hope that somehow we add more than Perkins, who I would think would be a lock," manager Paul Molitor said. "Dozier, the body of work is pretty good."

On Monday at 6 p.m. CT, the All-Star reserves, pitchers and Final Vote candidates will be announced on the Esurance All-Star Selection Show on ESPN. Immediately following the show, fans can return to MLB.com to begin voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until 3 p.m. on Friday, July 10.

And the voting doesn't end there. During the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday, July 14, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy in Cincinnati.

Dozier, who was left off the All-Star team last year but participated in the Home Run Derby, is hitting .260/.331/.511 with 16 homers, 26 doubles, 40 RBIs and seven stolen bases in 81 games. He also leads all Major League second basemen in Wins Above Replacement dating to the start of last season.

Dozier, looking to become the first Twins second baseman to be an All-Star since Chuck Knoblauch in 1997, said he'd love to be a first-time All-Star, but it's not something he's worried about.

"I think it would be pretty cool," Dozier said. "We'll find out tomorrow. I think it would be cool to represent the Twins and all that kind of stuff. But it's at the bottom of my list. I'm getting ready for the Orioles."

Molitor, a seven-time All-Star during his playing days, said he believes the Twins (43-39) deserve more than one candidate considering the way they've played this season. They're in second place in the AL Central.

"You'd like to see a first half that's been fairly competitive by your team be rewarded with some people being recognized in that capacity," Molitor said. "Even when we had a really good May, it was a fairly spread-out performance that allowed us to win 20 games. We have four guys with 40 RBIs. We're spreading it out offensively. There's not the dominant numbers other than Dozier's runs and extra-base hits, which is why he's probably the guy we're pushing for the most."

MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (6 p.m. CT air time, 7:15 first pitch), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive 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.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.