NEW YORK -- Robinson Cano is keeping a close eye on his candidacy for the American League All-Star Game, and the Yankees second baseman has moved into position for a starting nod on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City with just a few days left to vote.
Cano enjoyed a burst of support to move past the Rangers' Ian Kinsler and into first place among AL second basemen, inching ahead with 3,559,290 votes to show a slight lead over Kinsler's 3,462,367.
"One of my family [members] just texted me today because they've been voting so much," Cano said. "They say, 'We want you to be the starter.' I want to just thank all the fans and the people who take their time."
Coming off a game-winning home run in Sunday's 6-5 victory over the Mets, Cano will need to keep up the pace to start what would be his third straight Midsummer Classic. Cano is also the AL's captain for the State Farm Home Run Derby on July 9 and said he has not yet decided whom he will invite to be on the Junior Circuit's slugging squad.
Meanwhile, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is about ready to claim a starting nod at shortstop. Jeter has 4,407,982 votes, second in the AL only to Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton (7,310,824), and he's well ahead of Texas' Elvis Andrus (2,764,888) among shortstops.
"We've got to win things," Cano said. "It's good to wake up on Monday and you've only got three days until the last day you can vote. To be in first place is good. You want to be with your [double play] partner again, Jeter. He's a guy that you always want to be around."
Curtis Granderson's 3,812,339 votes are second among AL outfielders behind Hamilton's total, leaving the Yankees center fielder also in line for a start. Jeter is looking for his 13th All-Star selection at the Midsummer Classic, while Granderson is hoping for his third All-Star appearance and second consecutive fan-elected start.
The Yankees have been well represented on other tallied ballots. Mark Teixeira (1,863,873) ranks third among AL first basemen, behind the Tigers' Prince Fielder (2,825,532) and the White Sox Paul Konerko (2,261,388).
Designated hitter Raul Ibanez (1,429,894) lost a slot and dropped to fourth among AL DHs, with the Red Sox's David Ortiz (3,128,711) pacing the way. Alex Rodriguez (1,748,534) has moved up a notch to third among AL third basemen, with the Rangers' Adrian Beltre (3,073,541) leading.
Russell Martin (1,156,820) is fifth among AL catchers, with Texas' Mike Napoli (3,008,228) in the lead.
The AL outfield leaders are comprised of Hamilton, Granderson and the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista (2,773,442). Nick Swisher (1,529,349) and Brett Gardner (1,031,382) are seventh and 10th, respectively, in the AL.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Fans can also once again participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. The 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 9.
The 2012 AL and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1, on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.