BALTIMORE -- When the American League All-Star team is unveiled on Sunday, Indians manager Manny Acta hopes he will see shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera included among the players deemed to be the game's elite.
"It'd be nice," Acta said on Saturday afternoon. "He's starting to establish himself as an All-Star player in this league and that usually happens when you start piling up All-Star Games. This would be his second one, if he makes it."
Indeed, Cabrera's first All-Star selection came one year ago, when he earned a spot on the AL team via the player balloting. Cabrera was then named the starter at shortstop after Yankees All-Star Derek Jeter pulled out of the contest.
Last season was a breakout campaign for Cabrera, who hit .273 with 25 home runs, 32 doubles and 92 RBIs in 151 games for Cleveland. The 26-year-old shortstop has been strong again in this season's first half, hitting .292 with 11 homers, 17 doubles and 38 RBIs through 67 games, entering Saturday.
Heading into Saturday's action, Cabrera had hit .278 with six home runs and 13 RBIs in his last 13 games.
"He's been solid the whole year," Acta said. "He got a lot of publicity last year because of the home runs and stuff. He's got 11 already. He's been huge. He's the guy I want at the plate when the game is on the line. He's just been steady."
Acta is also hoping that second baseman Jason Kipnis -- up against the likes of New York's Robinson Cano, Boston's Dustin Pedroia and Texas' Ian Kinsler at a star-studded position -- might make the cut for the AL squad, too. Through 75 games, Kipnis has hit .279 with 11 home runs, 45 RBIs, 47 runs scored and 18 stolen bases for the Tribe.
"It'd be nice to see Kipnis, too," Acta said. "I know we have a lot of good second basemen in our league, but managers can pick guys, too."