Youkilis moves up in All-Star balloting
First baseman slides ahead of Teixeira in tight race
While the Red Sox currently have the lead in the AL East over their rival Yankees, they also have the lead in projected American League All-Star starters, along with the upstart Texas Rangers.
In the latest results of All-Star balloting released on Tuesday, the Red Sox have two players among the eight starting spots in All-Star voting while the Yankees have just one potential starter in the Midsummer Classic set for July 14 in St. Louis.
In one of the most tightly contested races, Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis moved ahead of Mark Teixeira by a mere 1,315 votes. Boston outfielder Jason Bay leads all outfielders and is on target for his third overall All-Star appearance and his first with Boston.
New York's Derek Jeter is currently in line for his fourth consecutive start at shortstop.
Meanwhile, another Yankee, Alex Rodriguez, is in danger of not starting at third base for the first time since he joined the Yankees in 2005.
Rodriguez trails third baseman Evan Longoria, who at age 23 is enjoying a breakout season with the Rays. Longoria is also locked in a battle with Jeter to be the top overall vote-getter in the American League.
Longoria has received 1,957,380 votes to Jeter's 1,921,768 -- a difference of 35,612.
The first-place Rangers are also making a statement as they have multiple leaders, with Ian Kinsler leading last year's AL MVP, Dustin Pedroia, by about 200,000 votes at second base and Josh Hamilton in second in the battle for one of three spots in the outfield.
The Twins' Joe Mauer, who like Rodriguez missed time with an injury to start the season, is a comfortable leader at catcher, with more than twice the number of votes as received by veterans Jason Varitek of the Red Sox and Jorge Posada of the Yankees.
The Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki, who has been an All-Star in each of his eight seasons in the Majors, is on track for his ninth straight appearance, as he held on to the third and final spot in the outfield ahead of the Rays' Carl Crawford and the Angels' Torii Hunter.
A position-by-position snapshot of the AL:
At first base, Youkilis moved ahead of Teixeira for the first time in two weeks. They're followed by two more elite sluggers, the Twins' Justin Morneau and the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera. At second base, Kinsler held strong against Pedroia, last year's American Leaguer MVP Award winner. The Yankees' Robinson Cano follows the two at third. At short, Jeter is running away from the competition and is on target to make his 10th All-Star appearance. The Rays' Jason Bartlett and the Rangers' Elvis Andrus are second and third, respectively. At third, Longoria remained in first ahead of Rodriguez, who has started at third base in each of his previous five seasons with the Yankees. The Rangers' Michael Young, in his first season at third base, is in third. Behind the plate, Mauer continues to lead the way but there was some movement behind the two-time All-Star. The Rangers' Jarrod Saltalamacchia fell two spots to fourth place, allowing Varitek to move into second and Posada into third. In the outfield, Bay leads the pack ahead of Hamilton and Ichiro. Crawford and Hunter round out the top five, with Crawford about 167,000 votes behind Ichiro. Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com. And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com. The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.