Write-in candidate Nunez needs All-Star help

No Twins among leading vote-getters in ballot update

Write-in candidate Nunez needs All-Star help

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins didn't have any players among the leading vote-getters for the 2016 MLB All-Star Game in the latest ballot update released on Tuesday, but infielder Eduardo Nunez and first baseman Joe Mauer are both deserving of consideration.

Nunez isn't on the ballot, but the Twins have started the #VoteNunez campaign to promote him as a write-in candidate, as he's surprisingly been the club's best hitter this season. Nunez, who opened the season as a backup infielder, has established himself as a regular by hitting .335/.363/.516 with seven homers, 10 doubles, 27 runs, 22 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 47 games entering Tuesday. Nunez ranked fifth in the American League in batting average and tied for third in stolen bases.

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

Nunez, who was a utility infielder for the first six years of his career, has made the most of his opportunity with injuries earlier this year to third baseman Trevor Plouffe and shortstop Eduardo Escobar. Nunez, 28, has played his way into the starting shortstop role, and he said being an All-Star would be a career-altering honor.

"Everybody dreams about going to the All-Star Game," Nunez said. "It's the dream for all players, young and old. If you can perform like that, it will change your life and change your career. People look at you different."

Mauer, meanwhile, is aiming for his seventh All-Star Game appearance, and his first since moving to first base before the 2014 season. Mauer is hitting .281/.388/.412 with six homers, six doubles and 21 RBIs in 55 games entering Tuesday. His on-base percentage is the seventh-best mark in the AL, while he's second among AL first basemen in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), trailing only Detroit's Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera is second in the balloting behind Kansas City's Eric Hosmer, trailing by more than 500,000 votes.

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, June 30, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Vote up to five times in any 24-hour period for a maximum of 35 times.

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.

Following the announcement of the 2016 All-Stars, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster. On Tuesday, July 12, watch the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard 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 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 87th All-Star Game, in San Diego, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.