McCutchen, Cole could still be All-Stars

Both have made strong first-half cases, could be announced Monday

McCutchen, Cole could still be All-Stars

PITTSBURGH -- Weekly updates tracked their players on the lower end of the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, so the Pirates were anything but a shoo-in to land a starter on the National League All-Star Team, and Sunday night's revelation of that lineup only confirmed it.

But the other shoe will drop Monday night: Announcement of balloting by their peers and of NL manager Bruce Bochy's picks will reward several Pirates for first-half jobs well-done.

On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, 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 4 p.m. ET on Friday, July 10.

And the voting doesn't end there. During the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati 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.

One of those expected to be named to his fifth straight All-Star team is Andrew McCutchen, who was the most competitive Pittsburgh player in the fan vote but could not overcome the outfield leaders -- or his own weak first month of the season.

"When you have an April like I did, you don't really get on TV unless you're doing something bad, so that has a lot to do with it, I'm sure," said McCutchen, who was hitting .188 as late as May 6.

"Our fans did what they could, but a bad April doesn't help you," added McCutchen.

All but assured of being chosen for the NL pitching staff is Gerrit Cole, who on Sunday became the Majors' first 12-game winner. What isn't yet known is whether Cole will ultimately get the honor of being the Pirates' first All-Star Game starting pitcher since Jerry Reuss in 1975.

"It would be pretty special,' Cole said of the possibility of being chosen. "It'd be a really cool honor. I'd be very excited."

Cole could take the mound on July 14 with routine rest, but so could other deserving starting candidates. The Dodgers' Zack Greinke, for instance, is due for his last pre-Classic start on Thursday, which would set him up to face the AL on Tuesday on regular rest.

This figures to be the Bucs' fifth consecutive summer with multiple All-Stars -- the team's longest such stretch of distinction since the '60s. Beginning in 1994, the Pirates' had only the lone obligatory selection in 14 of 17 seasons.

"And we actually have guys that probably won't make the team that are very deserving," general manager Neal Huntington said. "It's a great step for us as an organization to have multiple guys, because typically winning teams get that, and it means we're probably playing very well."

That five-year span, of course, began with the 2011 debut of manager Clint Hurdle, who looks forward to another special moment prior to Monday night's game with San Diego when he can introduce the Bucs' newest All-Stars to their mates.

"It's a cool opportunity and time when I can make the announcement here (in the clubhouse) with our guys," Hurdle said. "Makes me feel like a proud parent, yes. We got to watch them play in the backyard the whole summer, and now we're going to send them up to another level, send them on a little trip."

Managers' input was absolutely solicited by Bochy, and Hurdle hoped to send six of his players packing.

"A.J. Burnett, Cole, Cutch … Mark Melancon, Francisco Cervelli, Tony Watson … they were the guys I felt strongly about," Hurdle said. "We'll see where it goes, but those are the guys that have done things that warrant an opportunity to play in that game."

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 8 p.m. ET.

The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (7 p.m. ET air time, 8:15 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.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.