Schierholtz and Co. need All-Star ballot votes
Fans can help Cubs outfielder make National League team before time runs out
CHICAGO -- Nate Schierholtz had never reached double digits in home runs in the big leagues until this season. He also has never played in an All-Star Game. Could this be the year?
The Cubs outfielder leads the team in batting with runners in scoring position, which is one of the reasons he was moved into the No. 3 spot in the lineup.
Of all the Cubs' position players, Schierholtz, who was batting .286 with a career-high 11 home runs and 34 RBIs entering Tuesday's action, may be the best bet to represent the team in the July 16 All-Star Game.
"He's exceeded our expectations with the overall quality at-bats," said Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. "To hit him in the three-hole, he does a nice job. He can handle different kinds of pitching, give you a tough at-bat. He's a threat to go deep if they make a mistake, runs the bases well, he's been really reliable defensively. He's done a nice job."
There's still time to vote for Schierholtz, but he'll need a surge of support. No Cubs players were in the top five at any position in the latest balloting results, released Tuesday.
The Cubs may be represented at the July 16 game by pitcher Travis Wood, who has posted quality starts in 15 of his 16 outings. Fans do not vote for the pitchers.
"It's really remarkable when you think about where his command is now compared to 15 months ago -- it's night and day," Epstein said of the lefty. "He deserves a ton of credit."
Other Cubs on the NL All-Star ballot include two-time All-Star Starlin Castro, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, second baseman Darwin Barney, third baseman Luis Valbuena, catcher Welington Castillo, and outfielders Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus. Soriano, 37, is a seven-time All-Star, while this is the first time Rizzo, Valbuena, Castillo and Schierholtz are on the ballot.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via a mobile device -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT.
Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period but can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, fans must be logged into an MLB.com account when submitting any online ballot. To obtain an MLB.com account, visit www.mlb.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans can also once again participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league whom they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2013 Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 7 p.m. CT on Monday, July 15.
Though originally scheduled for Sunday, the 2013 rosters will now be unveiled Saturday at 5:30 p.m. CT on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell. The show will be televised nationally on FOX.
From Saturday to Thursday, July 11, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com for the final player for each League's All-Star roster.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, 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 also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.