Cutch gains, Walker needs fan help for ASG nod
Center fielder making up ground on Puig; second baseman in No. 2 spot
Andrew McCutchen has cooled off in the past week, but that hasn't stopped him from gaining ground on Yasiel Puig in the National League All-Star voting.
McCutchen, with 2,461,722 votes, has closed to within 7,000 votes of Puig in the race for the top spot among NL outfielders. The top three vote-getters will start in the All-Star Game. Puig still leads all outfielders with 2,468,376 votes, but McCutchen has nearly made up a deficit of more than 200,000 votes in a week's time.
McCutchen hit .346 with a .418 on-base percentage, .728 slugging percentage, seven home runs and 20 RBIs in his first 20 games of June, a month in which the Bucs' center fielder has always excelled.
McCutchen was just 4-for-24 in his last six games entering play Monday, after a streak of eight straight multihit games, but he is still surging on the NL ballot -- which Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki paces with 3,287,460 votes.
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.
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is also among the vote-leaders at his position. Walker has 1,328,959 votes, which is good for second place among second basemen. Chase Utley leads at the position with 2,090,110 votes.
Walker has been on the disabled list for the past two weeks after an appendectomy, but he is eligible to return on Tuesday, when manager Clint Hurdle said he expects him to be activated. Walker is batting .280 with 11 home runs -- tied for first among NL second basemen -- and 35 RBIs in 62 games this season.
Fans this year once again can 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 2014 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 14.
The 2014 American League and National League 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. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.
And the voting doesn't 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 Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their 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 would become the first Pirates player voted into the NL's starting lineup since Jason Bay in 2006. More significantly, perhaps, only six Pittsburgh players have ever received that nod from fans, with all of the predecessors also having been outfielders. In addition to Bay, they include Barry Bonds (1992-93), Andy Van Slyke (1992-93), Dave Parker (1977-78, 1980-81) and Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente (1972) and Willie Stargell (1971-72).
David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.