San Francisco Chronicle

Belt in All-Star picture

- By Henry Schulman Henry Schulman is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.

PITTSBURGH — Brandon Belt an All-Star? For the first time in his career, it could happen.

The Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo is running away with the firstbase voting. In figures released Wednesday, he was the leading vote-getter in the National League at any position with more than 2.2 million. Belt was a distant second with about 839,000, but he has a chance to go as a reserve on the player ballot.

Belt is having his best season at the plate and ranks second at the position behind Rizzo in OPS.

“If it happens, it would be one of the coolest things to ever happen to me,” Belt said, acknowledg­ing that he has thought about the possibilit­y, but only in passing.

“Offensivel­y, I’m definitely good enough to be on the All-Star team. I’m not having the defensive year I would like or the baserunnin­g year I would like, but it seems like offensive numbers get you voted in more than anything.”

Belt has made seven errors. He had three at first base last year and three more in left field.

“It’s one of those things where, I don’t want to make errors seem less than they are, but they come and go. It’s been a weird year. I’ve had some weird plays. It’s not like I’m missing groundball­s coming right at me.”

Buster Posey is the only Giants position player with a chance to get elected. He trails the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina by 75,000 votes, 1.205 million to 1.130 million.

Pitchers Johnny Cueto and Madison Bumgarner are near locks to go. Cueto said he tries not to think about it because he has been disappoint­ed not to be chosen in years he thought he was worthy. He has been an All-Star once. Last year, Bruce Bochy left him off the team.

“It was a tough call,” Bochy said. “He was definitely on our list of candidates. He’s had a great career. Of course, he’s going to be one of those guys on the list every year.” Pence progressin­g: Thursday marks two weeks since Hunter Pence’s hamstring surgery, which is supposed to keep him out six to eight weeks. He already is doing agility drills on the field and swatting at tennis balls with a bat. Bochy said the rehab with this type of surgery is supposed to be aggressive.

Pence said he’s getting close to jogging.

“I’ve been begging them to let me jog,” Pence said, “but I have to be smart and listen to them. They know what’s best. If I go out and jog and tear it again, it won’t be good.”

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