Familiar faces appear on Rays' All-Star Game ballot
Voting for 2014 contest ends July 3 and is available online or on mobile devices
ST. PETERSBURG -- Unlike many seasons, the Rays players appearing on this year's All-Star Game ballot are slotted in familiar places.
In the past, the Rays have been so far removed from having an everyday lineup that All-Star nominees from the team were based on guesswork at best, save for staples such as third baseman Evan Longoria.
Now the Rays have a lineup that closely resembles an everyday lineup for the first time in manager Joe Maddon's tenure.
This year's Rays nominees are as follows: James Loney, first base; Ben Zobrist, second base; Yunel Escobar, shortstop; Longoria, third base; Ryan Hanigan, catcher; Matt Joyce, DH; and David DeJesus, Wil Myers and Desmond Jennings, outfield.
Who has the best chance of making the roster? David Price offered up his vote.
"Matt Joyce, all day for sure," Price said. "He's getting on base a ton, his average is really good, he's [among the] top couple in the league in average. His OBP has got to be good, especially after [Friday] night with five walks. I think he's deserving and he plays really good defense."
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. In-stadium voting is available from May 6-June 18. 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.
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 who 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.
Last year, the Rays were represented by left-hander Matt Moore, who is on the disabled list after Tommy John surgery that took place Tuesday, and Zobrist, who filled a nice niche given his talents to play several positions well.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.