ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals are a week away from learning which of their players will be selected for participation in the July 14 All-Star Game. And the club, which boasted a Major League-most 50 wins entering play Sunday night at home vs. the Cubs, is not short on candidates.
Third baseman Matt Carpenter and shortstop Jhonny Peralta sit comfortably in the leads at their respective positions based on the latest release of fan voting totals. Neither has been a fan-elected All-Star before. Outfielder Matt Holliday ranked third among National League outfielders at last count, which would give the Cardinals a third starting position player.
Closer Trevor Rosenthal, who ranked second in the NL with 22 saves and tops among all NL relievers with a 0.54 ERA entering play Sunday, seems a shoo-in to be on the roster. But he isn't the only first-time All-Star hopeful for the Cardinals.
With his victory on Saturday, Michael Wacha became the second NL pitcher to win 10 games. He ranked eighth in ERA with a 2.77 mark. Carlos Martinez, who entered Sunday with eight wins and a 2.89 ERA, has a case for inclusion as well.
"I would love to be there," Wacha said. "That's one of the goals that you set for yourself in Spring Training coming in, just a minor goal. That's obviously what everyone is playing here for -- to have a good first half and get to the All-Star Game."
Second baseman Kolten Wong sits in second place in the voting, but trails Miami's Dee Gordon by more than one million votes. If he can't leapfrog Gordon there, Wong would likely have to be selected through the player/coaches vote or by NL manager Bruce Bochy in order to earn his first All-Star Game nod.
Wong said he hasn't thought too much about the possibility just yet.
"I understand where I am at in the rankings," Wong said. "If I make it, it would be an honor. As of now, I'm just playing the game and having fun. I'm lucky to be in the situation that I'm at, but just want to keep being that consistent player for this team. If I make it, great. If not, I'll enjoy my All-Star break."
Over the weekend, players and coaches spent time filling out their own All-Star Game ballots. Those tallies will be used to select some of the participants. Matheny said he also intends to reach out to Bochy to discuss worthy candidates from the club.
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 at 10:59 p.m. CT. 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.
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.