The Marlins are hosting the All-Star Game on July 11. But unless there’s some seismic shift in fan voting, no Marlin will be in the starting lineup.
When the first voting update for the National League team was released Tuesday, the Marlins didn’t have a single player among the top five vote-getters at each position.
Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton were seventh and eighth, respectively, among outfielders.
The absence of Marlins is nothing new. Only six times have fans voted a Marlin into the starting lineup and one of those, Gary Sheffield in 1993, was the result of his play with the San Diego Padres. Sheffield was traded to the Marlins in late June of that season, after most of the votes had been cast.
Hanley Ramirez was the starting shortstop three consecutive years from 2008-10. And while second baseman Dee Gordon and Stanton were voted on as starters in 2015, injuries prevented them from playing. Ozuna started last year’s All-Star Game, but as a last-minute injury replacement.
A case could be made for J.T. Realmuto, who ranks third among NL catchers in OPS and WAR. But he failed to crack the top five in the first update.
“We haven’t had a great season to this point, so [fans] are not really paying attention to us,” surmised manager Don Mattingly about the lack of votes received by Realmuto. “But I think people within the game, everybody you talk to, really likes J.T.”
The Marlins won’t be shut out entirely. Rules stipulate that every team be represented by at least one player.
The early NL voting front-runners at each position: first baseman Anthony Rizzo (Cubs); second baseman Daniel Murphy (Nationals); shortstop Corey Seager (Dodgers); third baseman Kris Bryant (Cubs); catcher Buster Posey (Giants); and outfielders Bryce Harper (Nationals), Charlie Blackmon (Rockies) and Jason Heyward (Cubs).
Voting ends June 29.
Mattingly raised more than a few eyebrows when he posted the lineup card last week in Oakland. Mattingly had Stanton batting second — an unlikely spot for a pure slugger.
But so far, the odd lineup configuration has provided positive results.
In six games, Stanton has hit .423 (11 for 26 with two homers) from the No. 2 spot and, entering play Tuesday, the Marlins had gone 4-2 in that stretch.
“We’ve tried a lot, so why not?” Stanton asked of the funky lineup, one of several Mattingly has tried in an effort to get something going offensively for the Marlins.
Stanton said he hasn’t changed his hitting approach. He said you won’t see him “trying to push bunt,” or anything like that.
Mattingly said it’s hard to say whether the lineup is the reason why Stanton and the Marlins are both doing better.
“I wish I knew exactly,” Mattingly said. “It’s a little bit different look, a little bit different feel for him. Other than that, you don’t know if it’s the timing of it, or a little bit different feel or a little bit different look to our lineup.”
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Dan Straily (3-3, 3.83) vs. Philadelphia Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (2-2, 4.34), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Thursday: Marlins LHP Jeff Locke (2017 debut) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (6-3, 3.24), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.