Olivo's efforts need extra fan push

Olivo's efforts need extra fan push

KANSAS CITY -- Miguel Olivo hasn't received enough All-Star voting support to be among the top five American League catchers, but that doesn't mean he hasn't deserved it.

Olivo has been working overtime for the Royals since backup John Buck went out with an injury, but he's prospered in the summer heat nonetheless. From May 30 -- when Buck was hurt -- through Monday, Olivo was hitting .309 (25-for-81) with nine home runs and 19 RBIs in 26 games.

His 12 home runs have surpassed Jason Varitek, who is among the AL All-Star vote leaders, for the most homers as a catcher in the Majors. Olivo also ranked fourth among AL backstops for lowest catcher's ERA, 4.00, and he had caught all six Royals shutouts.

No Royals players were among the top five at an infield position or the top 15 outfielders in the AL All-Star voting, and time is running out.

In-stadium voting has ended, but fans can still vote online for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT.

Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Pepsi on TBS on Sunday. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com.

And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com.

The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.