Cutch, Walker among NL leaders in All-Star voting
Andrew McCutchen, who made some history last season by becoming Pittsburgh's first National League Most Valuable Player in 21 years, is on his way to making some more history.
According to the first released update on voting for the 2014 National League All-Star Game, McCutchen is in position to become only the seventh Pirates player elected to the NL starting lineup via fan balloting.
McCutchen ranks second on the outfielders leader board with 467,378 votes, trailing No. 1 Charlie Blackmon of Colorado by 72,000 votes and with a 41,000-vote lead over No. 4 Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins.
The only other Buccos player to show up in the early voting -- with recognition given to the top five at each position, except for the top 15 in the outfield -- is Neil Walker, fifth among second basemen with 159,205 votes. The Phillies' Chase Utley leads at the position with 509,390 votes -- but not in homers and RBIs, both categories in which Walker leads all NL second basemen.
Besides being tops with the 10 homers and 27 RBIs, Walker has done it as also the league's iron man second sacker, yet to miss a start. He started his 52nd straight game of the season Wednesday afternoon in New York.
"That's not even in my mind," Walker said. "I'm focused on trying to get back on track here as far as winning ways in this locker room. Obviously it would be very exciting for me, but like I said, my focus is definitely on what's going on on the field as a team."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- 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.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
The 2014 All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. The AL will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL will have eight fan-elected starters. Pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by All-Star managers Mike Matheny (NL) and John Farrell (AL).
Immediately following the announcement of the rosters, you can select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Choose again at that point from among five players in each league. The Final Vote returns for its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast to date, and you'll be able to make selections on MLB.com, club sites and your mobile device.
You'll be on a voting tear at that point, having already selected starters and the last men, and the ritual will not end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the big game, vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi. The fan voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
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.
McCutchen, while in the running for his fourth consecutive All-Star Game nod, would become the first Pirates player voted into the starting lineup since Jason Bay in 2006.
Only five other Pirates -- all outfielders -- have ever carried the fan vote. Bay's predecessors were Hall of Famers Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente, and Dave Parker, Barry Bonds, and Andy Van Slyke.
McCutchen entered Wednesday's game with typically characteristic numbers: .310 average and .896 OPS. As the toll of being consistently pitched around -- he continues to lead the league with 40 walks -- he had only four homers.