Springer aims to leapfrog into AL FV lead

Astros partner with Rox to drum up NL support; fans can now tweet support

Springer aims to leapfrog into AL FV lead

HOUSTON -- George Springer needs help to join the American League All-Stars in San Diego. The Astros' right fielder was in second place in the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote in the AL as of Friday morning's update.

If he can surpass Toronto's Michael Saunders and stay in front of Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler and Evan Longoria by 3 p.m. CT on Friday, Springer will be the third Astros player named to the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard, along with second baseman Jose Altuve and closer Will Harris.

Cast your Esurance Final Vote for Springer

With Twitter support beginning to count at 9 a.m. CT on Friday, tweeting with the #VoteSpringer hashtag is a key way to make a push over the final hours of balloting.

"I really hope that the fans in Houston, and the fans around the game respond," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "You can't go wrong with the five choices. These are five really talented players. We're biased. We love our own, and we'd love to have George in San Diego."

As of Thursday afternoon, Springer led all 10 candidates in mobile text ballot votes.

"I don't care how he gets his votes as long as he gets there," Hinch said. "You have to be around him every day to appreciate the durability that he has, the impact that he has on the game."

Springer's big RBI single

The Astros are rolling out a number of campaign strategies to try and get Springer enough votes.

Since the #VoteSpringer push started Tuesday night, the hashtag has accounted for more than 37.8 million impressions and reached more than 13 million people, according to Keyhole.

"It's cool," Springer said Tuesday night. "I obviously appreciate it. It's an honor to get this far, and obviously we'll find out soon, but if not, it's an honor just to be in it."

Some of Springer's teammates have also taken to social media to encourage people to vote for Springer.

"These are the best players on the planet, and George deserves in the conversation with those guys, no doubt," pitcher Collin McHugh said. "Obviously as his teammate, we're a little biased. ... I think the fans who might not follow us as a team would get a chance to see a guy who's one of the young superstars in the game."

Altuve said he's already voted 25 times, and shortstop Carlos Correa was adamant Springer should be voted in.

"He doesn't deserve to be in the Final Vote," Correa said. "He deserves to be there, as at least a reserve for the All-Star Game. We're going to vote, and hopefully he'll make it."

Wednesday afternoon, the club also unveiled "Super Springer" shirts that feature a cartoon image of Springer in a superhero costume. The entire team wore the shirts to batting practice before Wednesday's game against the Mariners.

"He's 'Super' George Springer," left fielder Colby Rasmus said. "He's played some good baseball this year. ... [He has] one of the flattest bats in the league right now. That oppo home run he hit the other day, I'd like to see one of those in the All-Star Game."

The club also announced through a series of tweets on social media that it will be partnering with the Colorado Rockies. Because fans can vote for one player in each league, the Astros and Rockies partnered up with the hashtag #SpringerStory in an attempt to get both Springer and Rockies shortstop Trevor Story to San Diego.

It would be the first time the Astros have three players selected to the All-Star team since '05, and the first time since the club joined the AL.

Fans can vote for the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote until 3 p.m. CT on Friday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will be announced during a Final Vote-themed telecast of "MLB Now" featuring commentary from political analyst Jeff Greenfield, live on MLB Network and MLB.com from 3-4 p.m. CT. MLB Network will provide extensive coverage across all of its studio programming during the Final Vote, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating the cities where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.

Announcers wear Springer shirt

Baseball fans have cast nearly 600 million online votes for Final Vote candidates since the program's inception in 2002. In addition to MLB.com and the official club websites, fans can use their mobile devices to cast votes at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text their choice to 89269. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Final Vote will include social balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 9 a.m.-3 p.m. CT on Friday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.

On Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CT, 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.

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.