All-Star Game voting opens with 8 Arizona Diamondbacks candidates listed on ballot

The Arizona Diamondbacks are playing above expectations this season with a 34-23 record, in large part due to an all-around team effort. As voting opened Wednesday for the 2023 All-Star Game, the Diamondbacks have eight players on the list of candidates campaigning to make the trip to T-Mobile Park on July 11. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – MLB All-Star Game voting opened Wednesday, and baseball fans can now head to to cast their vote for the Diamondbacks in the Midsummer Classic in Seattle on July 11.

The initial candidates are Christian Walker (1B), Ketel Marte (2B), Josh Rojas (3B), Corbin Carroll (OF), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (OF), Pavin Smith (OF), Gabriel Moreno (C) and Evan Longoria (DH), and fans can write in votes for players not listed.

With the exception of Longoria, who was a three-time All-Star with the Tampa Bay Rays, all of the other candidates for the Diamondbacks would be making their first All-Star game appearance if selected.

The release marks Phase 1 of 2023 All-Star Game voting. Fans can cast votes up to five times a day until the polls close at noon on June 22. The top vote-getter in each league will automatically be named a starter. The other players who garner the most votes for their position will move on to the next phase of the voting process.

The polls will reopen June 26, but only for the top vote-getters from their respective positions, and fans will have three days to cast their votes. The remaining starters will be announced on June 29.

The pitchers and reserves will be chosen by the Commissioner’s Office to fill out the remaining roster spots, ensuring each MLB team is represented by at least one player.

Long-shot All-Star candidates

Josh Rojas: Rojas has spent time all over the field for the Diamondbacks, but his .237 average, no home runs and 22 RBIs will be hard to top Max Muncy and Nolan Arenado’s output with the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively.

Evan Longoria: Longoria is batting .217 with seven home runs and 12 RBIs. He has appeared in only 30 out of 56 games for the Diamondbacks.

Pavin Smith: Smith cracks the top 10 in the NL at the designated hitter spot for average (.226), home runs (5) and RBIs (22) but doesn’t lead the NL in any given DH category.

All-Star candidates with work to do

Christian Walker: Walker is having a solid season with a batting average of .242, 12 home runs and 35 RBIs. However, the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman leads all first basemen with a .346 average, and New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso and Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Olson are both ahead of Walker in home runs and RBIs.

Ketel Marte: Marte is currently riding a streak of 29 straight games reaching base, and his eight home runs rank third in the NL. If Marte can remain hot at the plate, he will be in contention throughout the voting process, even with the Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez leading all of baseball with a .382 batting average.

All-Star candidates with high hopes

Corbin Carroll: The rookie has taken the league by storm, ranking in the top three in the NL for left fielders in home runs (9) and batting average (.287). His 16 stolen bases lead all left fielders and ranks second in the NL behind the Braves’ Ronald Acuna.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr: Gurriel has had an outstanding season, ranking among the top three in the NL for left fielders in home runs (9) and RBIs (31). His .311 average is ranked first for left fielders.

Gabriel Moreno: Moreno’s .291 batting average ranks second in the NL for qualified catchers. The one caveat for Moreno is his defense, where he leads all of baseball with 29 assists and a .542 caught-stealing rate.

“He is setting the pace in the league as far as controlling the running game,” Diamondbacks assistant general manager Mike Fitzgerald said during an interview with Arizona Sports. “But on the other side of the plate (hitting) he has been strong as well.”

The commissioner’s list

The selection process for pitchers and reserves will be a tall task for the Commissioner’s Office with 23 players selected from each league.

Zac Gallen (P): Gallen finished fifth in Cy Young voting last year and has followed that up with another dominant season. He is top five in the NL for ERA (2.72), innings pitched (72.2), strikeouts (82) and WHIP (1.03). His seven wins are tied for the most in the NL with Pittsburgh Pirates’ Mitch Keller.

Merrill Kelly (P): In his fifth year with the Diamondbacks, Kelly is tied for second in the NL for wins (6) and his 2.83 ERA is seventh best.

“We need Gallen and Kelly to continue to pitch well for us,” Diamondbacks pitching coach Brent Strom said. “They have been two mainstays for us that I think are both All-Star candidates.”

Gallen and Kelly, along with the reserves, will have to wait until July 2 for their names to be announced.

“The All-Star Game is not really on the forefront of my mind,” Gallen said. “I think when you get consumed by things like that it kind of clouds everything else that is going on.

“If it happens, I will be super excited with it being my first one, I will be honored. But, we are playing really good baseball right now, so my focus is on that and winning baseball games.”

Josh Amick jaw-sh ey-mick (he/ him)
Sports Reporter, Phoenix

Josh Amick expects to graduate in May 2024 with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism. Amick has written and interned for AZPreps365 and is working toward a job as a beat writer or sideline reporter.