Fans can give Padres boost in All-Star voting
PHOENIX -- Padres fans will need to get busy at the ballot box if they hope to get a player voted onto the National League All-Star team.
Not a single Padres player appears among the National League vote leaders announced on Wednesday by Major League Baseball.
The Padres' most viable candidate isn't even on the ballot, as outfielder Seth Smith has been the team's best and more consistent hitter in the first two months of the season.
Going into Wednesday's game against the D-backs, Smith was hitting .315 with six home runs and 20 RBIs. He has terrorized right-handed pitching to the tune of a .331/.421/.600 slash line.
"He's on a roll right now, especially over the last couple of weeks," manager Bud Black said recently. "Seth has the ability to hit fastballs. He's laying off breaking balls, and he has a patient approach to start with. He's not afraid to hit with two strikes."
Said bench coach Dave Roberts: "He's always hit. He's just had an opportunity to get more at-bats with [Carlos] Quentin on the disabled list, and he's risen to the occasion."
San Diego players on the ballot include first baseman Yonder Alonso, second baseman Jedd Gyorko, third baseman Chase Headley, shortstop Everth Cabrera, catcher Yasmani Grandal and outfielders Chris Denorfia, Carlos Quentin and Will Venable.
Last season, Cabrera was the Padres' lone All-Star representative. He didn't play in the game, though.
Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who leads the Majors in several offensive categories, has received the most votes to date (745,823).
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.