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Bautista to Farrell: Get Edwin to ASG

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TORONTO -- Jose Bautista has a message for his former manager John Farrell: Don't forget about Edwin Encarnacion.

Farrell is the manager of the American League for the upcoming All-Star Game in Minnesota and will have a say in which players make the cut. The starters are picked via fan balloting and the players also hold a vote, but the final selections are made by the manager.

Bautista spent two years in Toronto with Farrell and it's pretty clear he was trying to send a message in his comments about the upcoming Midsummer Classic.

"That would be an extreme mistake on part of the manager if he doesn't pick him," Bautista said of Encarnacion. "How could you not pick the guy who is leading the league in home runs and RBIs?

"I'm surprised still that the fans haven't come out and supported him better and he's not leading the votes for his position, but you can't control that as much as you can control a manager picking a player."

Encarnacion is tied with Baltimore's Nelson Cruz and Jose Abreu of the White Sox for the most home runs in the Major Leagues with 25. He's also one behind Cruz for the lead in RBIs with 65. Overall, Encarnacion is hitting .277 with 47 extra-base hits and a .947 OPS in 81 games.

Despite the impressive stats, Encarnacion was ranked fourth at his designated hitter position when the latest round of fan votes were released Sunday night. Encarnacion trails Cruz, Boston's David Ortiz and Detroit's Victor Martinez.

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, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.

"I think, either way he should make the team," Bautista said. "It would be a huge disappointment and let down to all fans if you don't have a guy like Edwin dressed up for that game. No matter if it's the other players or the manager picking him."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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