CLEVELAND -- All week long, everyone from Tribe fans to teammates showcased their support for Corey Kluber on social media using the hashtag #VoteKluber. But even after a furious Twitter rally through the final six hours of voting, the Tribe pitcher came up short in his quest for an All-Star selection.
Kluber finished fourth in the American League Final Vote Sponsored by Experian despite garnering the third-most Twitter votes on Thursday. AL Central foe Chris Sale captured the honors, and in doing so joined Paul Konerko (2011), A.J. Pierzynski (2006) and Scott Podsednik (2005) as the fourth White Sox player to earn a Final Vote selection.
"I truly appreciate all the efforts of Tribe fans, my teammates, @Indians & everyone else over the last few days. Congrats to Chris," Kluber wrote on Twitter following the close of the balloting.
Trailing Sale were Garrett Richards of the Angels, Rick Porcello of the Tigers, Kluber and Houston's Dallas Keuchel. With Kluber missing out on the final AL roster spot, outfielder Michael Brantley will be the Tribe's sole All-Star representative at Target Field on Tuesday.
Since Kluber was named a Final Vote candidate on Sunday, the Indians have been wearing "#VoteKluber" T-shirts during batting practice and around the clubhouse. During Wednesday's game, fans in attendance were given "K" signs as a way to further promote the right-handed pitchers push for votes. The club also partnered with the Rockies in the #ClevelandRox social media campaign, which sought to gain support for Kluber and National League Final Vote nominee Justin Morneau.
Heading into Thursday's action, Kluber ranked among the AL leaders with 137 strikeouts, a 2.86 ERA and a stellar 4.57 strikeout-to-walk-ratio in 125 2/3 innings. In his most recent start, Kluber struck out 10 and walked one while pitching 8 1/3 frames of one-run baseball in a win over the Royals.
In a season that has seen more than its fair share of changes among the Tribe rotation, Kluber has emerged as a dominant, stabilizing force that leads the pitching staff in most major categories.
"I don't think anybody here is surprised by it," reliever Mark Rzepczynski said. "You see the stuff and you just go 'yeah, that's about right.' He's got close to the best stuff [in the AL]."
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again allow fans to help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less