Cutch taking aim at 5th straight All-Star appearance

Cutch taking aim at 5th straight All-Star appearance

CHICAGO -- With eight everyday players locked in at their respective positions, there wasn't much mystery surrounding who would represent the Pirates on this year's All-Star Game ballot.

Andrew McCutchen, seeking his fifth straight Midsummer Classic appearance, headlines the group of eight Bucs appearing on the 2015 All-Star Game ballot, which was released Wednesday.

McCutchen is joined on the ballot by the rest of the Pirates' regular lineup: catcher Francisco Cervelli, first baseman Pedro Alvarez, second baseman Neil Walker, third baseman Josh Harrison, shortstop Jordy Mercer, and outfielders Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco.

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- using the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, July 2, at 11:59 p.m. ET. For the first time, voting is exclusively online, where fans may submit up to 35 ballots.

Fans may also receive the ballot by texting VOTE to 89269 (USA) or 101010 (Canada). Or text VOTA for a ballot in Spanish. Message and data rates may apply. Up to five messages. No purchase required. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for info.

The Pirates had three All-Stars a year ago in McCutchen, Harrison and setup man Tony Watson. The Bucs sent five players to Citi Field for the 2013 Midsummer Classic: McCutchen, Alvarez (at third base), and pitchers Jeff Locke, Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli. With McCutchen off to a slow start, Walker and Polanco have made the strongest early impressions this season.

Following the announcement of the 2015 All-Stars, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player for each league's All-Star roster. On Tuesday, July 14, watch the 2015 All-Star Game live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2015 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of All-Star Week festivities.

The 86th 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.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.