Lorenzo Cain’s face, in T-shirt form, was on every seat in the Royals’ clubhouse on Friday afternoon. Under a bright-eyed emoji-like characterization of Cain the gray T-shirt read “#VoteLoCain.”
Cain looked at the shirt on his chair, and shook his head. Although a few players, including Eric Hosmer and Whit Merrifield, wore them out to warm-ups, Cain left the shirt untouched as he left for batting practice.
“I didn’t have any say in that,” Cain said, laughing. “I showed up today and that was in my locker. They did the best they could. Good enough. Close enough, I guess.”
The push for Cain in All-Star voting has ramped up over the last few days, after Cain dropped from third in the American League outfield to fifth, which puts him out of a starting spot.
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With Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez essentially locked into starting spots, the Royals’ social media campaign has turned its attention toward Cain.
“(The fans) did a great job of (voting) last year, and they’re voting this year as well,” Cain said. “We’ll see see what happens with the All-Star voting.”
Players received their ballots Friday, manager Ned Yost said, and Merrifield already knows he’ll be voting in support of his teammate.
Royals owner David Glass is on the bandwagon as well.
“He absolutely should be in,” Glass said. “He’s one of the very best outfielders in the American League, and it won’t be the same without him.”
“He’s the best center fielder in the league,” Merrifield said.
The All-Star Game, to be played July 12, seems to be the last thing on Cain’s mind.
“If it happens it happens,” he said.
As for Hosmer, the All-Star bid is a bit more in his mind. Hosmer, like most players, wanted to be a part of the game last year — it would have been his first Midsummer Classic. While five Royals went on to start in the game, he was topped in the voting by Miguel Cabrera and didn’t earn a spot on the team.
This year, it looks like he’ll get his chance. Hosmer leads Cabrera by over 573,197 votes. Homer said it would “be a tremendous honor.”
Yost would like Hosmer on the team.
“It would be special,” said Yost, who picks the All-Star reserves as a manager of the reigning AL champions. “It helps that he’s having an All-Star caliber type year.”
Heading into Friday, Hosmer was hitting .305, tops among first basemen in Major League Baseball.
“It will be a tragedy if Hoz doesn’t get to go,” Glass said. “He’s good enough, and he’s having a good enough year. I just can’t imagine him not going.”