Rutschman first in AL All-Star voting (Henderson is AL Player of the Week)

The Orioles could send a catcher to the All-Star Game for the first time since 2016 and have their first healthy starter at the position in 36 years.

Adley Rutschman is the leader in voting in the American League at 460,496 to give him a comfortable margin over the Rangers’ Jonah Heim (320,028), a former Orioles minor leaguer. The Royals’ Salvador Pérez is third at 312,615.

Matt Wieters was an All-Star in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016. He was leading AL catchers in voting in 2014 when he sustained an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.

Terry Kennedy was voted into the All-Star Game in 1987, and Mickey Tettleton was a reserve two years later.

Rutschman didn’t make his major league debut last year until May 21 and was slow to heat up, but he emerged as the immediate favorite in 2023 and is batting .274/.390/.410 with eight doubles, eight home runs, 28 RBIs and 46 walks that lead the league.

The Orioles last sent multiple players to the All-Star Game in 2016, and shortstop Manny Machado was the last fan-voted starter in 2018. Cedric Mullins started in center field in 2021, but as an injury replacement for Mike Trout.

Closer Jorge López represented the Orioles last year.

First baseman Ryan Mountcastle, second baseman Adam Frazier and shortstop Jorge Mateo are eighth at their respective positions in the first update, and third baseman Ramón Urías is 10th. Gunnar Henderson doesn’t appear among the designated hitters.

Outfielders Austin Hays and Mullins are 18th and 20th, respectively. Mullins sustained a groin injury and is missing significant time.

Voting continues until June 22 at noon, with the top two players at each position and top six outfielders advancing to the final round.

Reserves are determined via player voting and selections in the Commissioner’s Office. Hays will deserve consideration if he keeps hitting.

Among the pitchers, closer Félix Bautista is becoming a lock with his 1.16 ERA, 17 saves and 18.6 strikeouts per nine innings. Starter Tyler Wells and setup man Yennier Cano also should be in the discussion.

This year’s All-Star Game is July 11 in Seattle, the closest location to Rutschman’s hometown of Sherwood, Oregon.

* High-A Aberdeen outfielder Jud Fabian was chosen as the South Atlantic League’s Player of the Week.

Fabian, the 67th-overall selection in last year’s draft out of the University of Florida, is batting .297 with a .918 OPS, 11 doubles, nine home runs, 43 RBIs and 32 walks in 50 games.

* Gunnar Henderson was named the AL Player of the Week, the first Oriole to be honored since Ryan Mountcastle in June 2021.

Henderson went 10-for-19 with a double, three home runs, six RBIs, five runs scored and two stolen bases. He had a .550 on-base percentage and 1.053 slugging percentage.

The rookie led the league in batting, on-base and slugging percentage, tied for second in homers and hits, ranked third in total bases with 20 and tied for fifth in RBIs.

Orioles Odds and Ends
A few notes and quotes on the winning Orioles week...

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