At the rate he's going, Alexei Ramirez is a lock to play in his first All-Star Game this season.
The shortstop is, by far, off to his best start since joining the White Sox in 2008.
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Heading into Tuesday night's game against Cleveland, Ramirez had a .320/.355/.483 hitting line along with 7 home runs and 36 RBI.
Ramirez was ranked in the Top 10 in the American League in batting, RBI, hits and batting average with runners in scoring position. He also had 9 stolen bases in 10 attempts and arguably has been the best fielding shortstop in the league.
The first round of voting for the July 15 All-Star Game at Minnesota was announced Tuesday, and Ramirez was second among AL shortstops with 472,537 votes. Not surprisingly, the Yankees' Derek Jeter led the way with 602,525.
"For me, it would be a tremendous honor to be able to participate, to be recognized for putting in hard work and doing everything I've done to get here," Ramirez said through a translator.
Ramirez also has played in 829 games since 2009, the most in the league.
"No, I don't," Ramirez said when asked if he ever gets tired. "I'm just one of those people, I can't be sitting on the bench; I get bored. I can't sit still for anything. I just want to be on the field and I want to play."
The 32-year-old shortstop has had some good seasons with the Sox, but he is on pace for a great one.
"This year he's doing a little bit of everything," manager Robin Ventura said. "Even his power numbers are up, being able to hit home runs. It's not that he's doing one thing or another. He's kind of combined it all to really become a complete hitter at the plate.
"I think for us, I think where he's at in the order, if guys are on base, he's the guy you want up."
Ramirez said he always has enjoyed watching the All-Star Game on television.
"I absolutely watch it," he said. "I think it's fun, especially last year with (Yoenis) Cespedes playing in the game. These are the best players in baseball, and I enjoy watching it. I think it would be a tremendous honor to be there."
Compare and contrast:
Last year the White Sox finished last in the American League in runs scored and were at or near the bottom in nearly every offensive category. This year the Sox are near the top in every category, including runs scored.
Manager Robin Ventura has a theory for the turnaround.
"If everybody is not hitting, every guy wants to go to the plate and do something more impactful," Ventura said. "They are trying to do too much instead of just playing the game and let the game come to you and put the bat on the ball and whatever happens, happens."
Paulino still ailing:
Felipe Paulino, who opened the season as the White Sox' No. 2 starter, has been returned from his rehab assignment with Class AAA Charlotte as he continues having trouble with his sore right shoulder.
Paulino was 0-3 with a 9.61 ERA in 5 starts with Charlotte.
"I don't know if he's seriously injured, but I think you look at the numbers and everything that's right there and you still think there's something there," manager Robin Ventura said. "We'll continue to evaluate that."
Paulino was 0-2 with an 11.29 ERA in 4 starts with the Sox before going on the disabled list April 19.