DETROIT — Right-hander Rick Porcello is hoping to become the first Detroit Tiger to win the Final Vote for an American League All-Star Game roster spot since third baseman Brandon Inge in 2009.
According to the latest voting totals, Porcello is third among five candidates with Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale in the lead. And it’s hard to argue with Sale getting the nod with his 8-1 record, 2.16 ERA and 0.87 WHIP.
Porcello’s 11-5 record with a 3.53 ERA and 1.18 WHIP are very good, but don’t approach Sale’s numbers. He might not beat out Sale, but he’s thoroughly enjoyed the Tigers and his teammates promoting him for the honor.
An entertaining video of Detroit reliever Joba Chamberlain interviewing teammates such as Max Scherzer, Torii Hunter, Ian Kinsler and Rajai Davis about why Porcello deserves votes has been playing on the Comerica Park scoreboard video screen.
"Joba’s pretty good at that," Porcello said. "It’s weird to have all your teammates talking about you, and doing it for you. I definitely appreciate it, and I’m happy it’s going on.
"It’s just humbling. Torii Hunter talking about me being an All-Star is pretty cool…Whether I win it or not, I’m never going to forget it."
The Tigers have handed out "VOTE PORCELLO" T-shirts and placards to fans and his teammates. Chamberlain’s son, Karter, held up a placard behind the Tigers while his father interviewed them.
"It’s been a pretty cool couple of days," said Porcello. "We know the fans here are tremendous, but you maybe don’t pay attention to it as much. Then something like this happens."
Also on the ballot are Los Angeles Angels pitcher Garrett Richards (10-2, 2.71), Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber (8-6, 2.86) and Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel (8-5, 3.06).
"There’s not any one guy that you would say doesn’t deserve to go," Porcello said.
Porcello has a flight home to New Jersey booked, and plans for a fishing expedition next week.
"It would be obviously awesome if I get in," Porcello said, "and I would make the necessary adjustments. But I’m excited about what’s going on in this clubhouse."
Voting is open until 4 p.m. Thursday at MLB.com, and votes can be made via text messages (A3 to 89269). There’s even a hash tag: #PICKRICK.
The Tigers overcame a 5-0 deficit to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night, and it was their major league-leading 27th comeback win. Detroit hasn’t overcome a bigger margin since coming back from six down to beat the Chicago White Sox on Sept. 21, 2013.
ANDY DIRKS UPDATE:
Tigers left fielder Andy Dirks played in a game for the first time since having lower back surgery with a microdisectomy in March. He began a rehabilitation assignment Tuesday night with Class A Lakeland, and was 1-for-3 with two runs scored. Dirks will be allowed 20 days on the assignment and Detroit head athletic trainer Kevin Rand indicated that the team likely will use every day available through July 27. That just happens to be four days before the deadline for non-waiver trades.