Rays need All-Star voting push from fans

Rays need All-Star voting push from fans

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay might be riding high in the American League East, but that has not translated to All-Star votes for the team's players.

At this juncture, the Rays need the support of their fans if they want to earn starting spots on the squad that will represent the American League at this year's All-Star Game in Cincinnati on July 14, as none ranks among the voting leaders.

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.

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.

Being an All-Star means a lot to every Major League player.

"It just kind of gives you some accolades about what you can do on a baseball field," center fielder Kevin Kiermaier said. "Any time you can be in that clubhouse with the best, that's huge.

"Every player wants to be an All-Star; it means you're having a great year. You want to show everyone what you're capable of. I've only been an All-Star once, and that was my Double-A year, and I was thrilled to get that. It's a lot of fun, let alone an MLB All-Star Game. It gives you recognition on how you perform for yourself and your team. Hopefully we can get a few guys on there, that would be great."

Manager Kevin Cash offered his opinion as to which Rays might be considered for All-Star recognition.

"I think you have to look at [reliever Brad Boxberger] for sure," Cash said. "[Chris] Archer, his start. And the consistency with [Evan Longoria], how he's played. Offense, defense, the whole package. He's been pretty special for us. So I would say those three guys will be factored in. There's still some time left to see what's going on. Then you look at [Jake Odorizzi]. It's two runs, seven innings every time. So I think if we could sign up for that for 30 starts, we would."

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.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.