ST. LOUIS -- Only two active position players in the Majors and three across the Cardinals' storied history have appeared in more Midsummer Classics than Yadier Molina. But if the eight-time All-Star wants to keep climbing up those leaderboards, he'll need help.Despite missing a month to a groin injury, Molina
ST. LOUIS -- Only two active position players in the Majors and three across the Cardinals' storied history have appeared in more Midsummer Classics than Yadier Molina. But if the eight-time All-Star wants to keep climbing up those leaderboards, he'll need help.
Despite missing a month to a groin injury, Molina was the lone Cardinals player to appear among the leading vote-getters when the National League's first All-Star ballot update was released Monday. With less than a month of voting left, Molina ranks fifth among NL catchers, nearly 129,000 votes behind leader Buster Posey. Cubs backstop Willson Contreras, Atlanta's Kurt Suzuki and Francisco Cervelli of the Pirates round out the top five.
Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman leads all NL vote-getters with 633,342. He's one of three Braves projected to earn a starting spot, along with second baseman Ozzie Albies and outfielder Nick Markakis. If voting ended today, Nolan Arenado (third base), Brandon Crawford (shortstop), Bryce Harper and Matt Kemp (outfield) would represent the NL at their respective positions.
• VOTE NOW: Camping World 2018 MLB All-Star Ballot
Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.
Following the announcement of this year's All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league's roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.
The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.
For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.
It's been three years since the Cardinals had a starter voted into the All-Star Game, their most recent representative coming with Jhonny Peralta's selection in 2015. Adam Wainwright started the game for the NL in 2014, but before Peralta, the last St. Louis position player to earn a starting nod was Molina (along with Carlos Beltran) in 2013. Molina also started the 2009 and 2010 games. He's made five other appearances as a reserve.
St. Louis' other position player candidates will have to qualify as reserves for this year's contest, unless voting picks up. Jose Martinez (first base), Kolten Wong (second base), Paul DeJong (shortstop) and Matt Carpenter (third base) placed outside the top five at their positions at the first update, while Tommy Pham, Marcell Ozuna and William Fowler all ranked outside the top 15 outfielders.
Ozuna started last year's game as a member of the Marlins. The Cardinals' most valuable player by bWAR, Harrison Bader, did not qualify for this year's ballot. Based on 2018 performance, most of the club's top All-Star candidates make their living on the mound, with Miles Mikolas, Michael Wacha, Bud Norris and Jordan Hicks all compiling strong campaigns. But fans do not vote for pitchers.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.