LOS ANGELES -- Matt Carpenter's offensive numbers are not as eye-popping as they were a year ago, when he was on his way to a 199-hit, 55-double season. But the Cardinals corner infielder finds himself in the thick of a tight five-player battle to earn an All-Star start at third base next month.
Only about 260,000 votes separated Aramis Ramirez, the National League's third-base leader as of Monday, and Nolan Arenado, currently in fifth. Squeezed in between were David Wright, Pablo Sandoval and Carpenter. Carpenter entered Friday second among all NL third basemen with a .372 on-base percentage and third with a WAR of 2.3.
"Last year, my first All-Star appearance in New York City was a real thrill for me and something I'll remember for the rest of my life," Carpenter told MLB.com on Friday during his time in the Edward Jones Chatting Cage. "Then, obviously, getting the opportunity to do it again is something that would never get old. I would be extremely honored and excited to be there. It's quite an accomplishment."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.