KANSAS CITY -- The Royals won't have eight starters for this year's All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile, as they once were projected to in the voting, but they did set a franchise record with four starters selected by the fans.
Shortstop Alcides Escobar and center fielder Lorenzo Cain each will be making their first starts and appearances in the game. Catcher Salvador Perez started last season as a replacement, and will start this year by fan voting. Also chosen to start was left fielder Alex Gordon, who, like Perez, will be making his third All-Star appearance.
Royals manager Ned Yost, who will be the American League skipper for the All-Star Game, was delighted to get four players voted in.
"You look at the guys that overtook our guys, they are having great years," Yost said. "Our guys are having great years, they're having great years. And I always felt that the voting would level out, and it would, you know, the guys that were having the best years would probably win. And I think that if you go and look at the years that everybody's having, for the most part, they got it right.
"But yeah, I would have loved to have more, and again, we're finalizing the reserves list and hopefully we'll have a couple more guys."
On Monday at 6 p.m. CT, the All-Star reserves, pitchers and Final Vote candidates will be announced on the Esurance All-Star Selection Show on ESPN. Immediately following the show, fans can return to MLB.com to begin voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until 3 p.m. on Friday, July 10.
And the voting doesn't end there. During the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday, July 14, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy in Cincinnati.
Yost also indicated that Cain would start in right field, where he played frequently in 2014. Mike Trout of the Angels will start in center.
Cain said it didn't matter where he started.
"For me, it's great and a little exciting, my first All-Star Game," he said. "It shows all the hard work pays off. You just go there [to Cincinnati], have a good time, then get back to playing baseball. The fans got in and voted, showed me some love, so that's always awesome. So I'm just trying to go out there, play hard and give 100 percent."
Gordon was thrilled that the Royals got four starters.
"It brings attention [to the team], and I think that's what [the voting has] been doing," Gordon said. "I think we play with a lot of energy and a lot of fun and people are interested and go out there and vote. It's pretty special. We don't take this for granted and we're happy to be here, and we're going to represent Kansas City the best way we can."
Escobar, who for years watched his hero Derek Jeter have the honor of AL starting shortstop, was emotional when told he had made it as a starter.
"For me, I'm thinking about the All-Star Game all the time," Escobar said. "That's my dream. And right now, I have the opportunity to go in there. Right now I feel so happy."
Perez was among the leading vote-getters of any player.
"It's just great," Perez said. "I want to thank the fans so much. They've been great."
The Royals previously only had six players total in their franchise history voted in, the last being outfielder Jermaine Dye in 2000. The others voted in were: George Brett, Darrell Porter, Amos Otis, Frank White and Bo Jackson. In 1979, the Royals had three players voted in: Brett, Porter and White.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 7 p.m. CT.
The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (6 p.m. CT air time, 7:15 first pitch), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive 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.
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.