With the KC Royals off for two days before they host Mike Moustakas and Colorado for a trio of games this weekend, not much is left for Kansas City fans to do but contemplate whether Moustakas is making the final trip of his career to Kauffman Stadium.
Unless, of course, they want to jump into the voting for this season's major league All-Star Game, which is scheduled for July 11 at Seattle's T-Mobile Park. Fan balloting, the determinant of all starters other than pitchers, began Wednesday.
The selection process and mechanics are dictated by the current Basic Agreement, the collective bargaining pact the players and clubs hammered out between the 2021 and 2022 seasons. "Phase 1", during which voters can cast up to five ballots every 24 hours, is open and ends at 11 a.m. CT June 22. Players finishing in first and second at DH and the infield positions, and six outfielders, move on to the "Finals" (sometimes referred to as "Phase 2"), which determines eight of each league's non-pitcher starters and gets underway June 26 at 11 a.m. CT, then concludes at the same time June 29.
Whoever gets the most Phase 1 votes, however, nails down a starting lineup spot without having to go through the Finals; if he's an outfielder, four, and not six, other outfielders head to the Finals.
Voters can vote for players whose names aren't on the ballot by exercising a write-in option at any position.
How are pitchers and reserves selected? More on that in a moment.
Are any of the 2023 KC Royals on this year's American League ballot?
Yes, and fans can vote for these Royals: Salvador Perez (catcher), Vinnie Pasquantino (first base), Michael Massey (second base), Maikel Garcia (third base), Bobby Witt Jr. (shortstop), Nick Pratto (designated hitter), and outfielders MJ Melendez, Edward Olivares, and Kyle Isbel.
Can Kansas City fans vote for any of their favorite former KC Royals?
Yes again. Eligible ex-Royals include three players the club traded away last summer—National League first baseman Carlos Santana, AL second baseman Whit Merrifield, and AL outfielder Andrew Beninitendi. Other former KC players on this season's ballot include AL catcher Martíin Maldonado, AL outfielder Michael A. Taylor, NL outfielder Wil Myers (a top minor league prospect the club shipped to Tampa Bay as part of the huge and controversial James Shields-Wade Davis deal), AL DH Brent Rooker, and NL DH Jorge Soler.
How can KC Royals pitchers and other players get on the AL All-Star team?
A hybrid system of voting by players, managers, and coaches, and Commissioner's Office choices, will determine which pitchers and reserves make each league's team. All teams are guaranteed at least one spot, whether it be a starter, pitcher or reserve, and can also have more than one representative.
Can KC Royals fans cast online votes for the American and National League teams?
Will Kings of Kauffman writers provide more All-Star Game coverage?
Absolutely. Keep an eye on this space—just as in the past, we'll have voting updates as they become available, stories about Kansas City's candidates, and coverage of All-Star Game-related events and the Game itself.