Martinez moves up in NL Final Vote race

Martinez moves up in NL Final Vote race

CHICAGO -- Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez moved up from third to second in the latest National League 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote polling. With voting continuing until 3 p.m. CT on Friday, there is plenty of time for fans to help the 23-year-old Martinez become a first-time All-Star.

Cast your Esurance Final Vote for Martinez

Johnny Cueto of the host Reds leads the pack, followed by Martinez, Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki, Los Angeles' Clayton Kershaw and New York's Jeurys Familia.

Martinez, the only Final Vote candidate to maintain a blog, posted both a video and written entry on it Wednesday asking for a wave of support in the #VoteTsunami effort. He later told MLB.com why he's so excited about the possibility of joining five of his teammates in Cincinnati for Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile.

"I'm just trying to let people know I want to go and I want to represent the St. Louis Cardinals and the Dominican Republic," Martinez said, speaking through a translator. "It would mean a lot to me because only the best players from the world go there. I'm trying to be one of the best players in the world."

Voting is open at MLB.com to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League until 3 p.m. CT on Friday.

During the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile in Cincinnati on Tuesday, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

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. 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 Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET), 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.

Voting for the 34th roster spot on both the NL and American League All-Star rosters is ongoing. Fans can also cast their ballot via text message. To receive the ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text the choice to 89269. Martinez is designated as "N4" for text voting.

Beginning at 9 a.m. CT on Friday, any tweet with the hashtag #VoteTsunami will also count toward Martinez's vote total.

The Cardinals have stepped up their campaigning for Martinez by teaming with the Royals, who are trying to push the candidacy of their third baseman, Mike Moustakas. As of Thursday morning, Moustakas was leading the AL vote with 11.8 million votes.

"While the Cardinals-Royals rivalry is among the best in the game, we are proud to join forces to urge our fans to send a clear message that we are teams united in our commitment to ensure that the best players take the field for the All-Star Game," said Dan Glass, president of the Kansas City Royals, and Bill DeWitt III, president of the St. Louis Cardinals, in a joint statement.

Told about the in-state alliance, Martinez said, "That means a lot to me."

"Whatever we have to do, I want to get him in there," added manager Mike Matheny. "That's the nature of the beast right now is the vote kind of rules. We're seeing some guys get some opportunities because of their fan support, and we think we have a guy who is very deserving. We're voting, too."

All-Star Michael Wacha and Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong were among those who took to Twitter on Wednesday to rally support for their teammate.

Every fan who casts a vote for Martinez will be automatically entered into a Cardinals-sponsored sweepstakes that features a grand prize of two field box tickets and two UMB Champions Club passes to the September 6 game against the Pirates, as well as an autographed Martinez baseball.

The Cardinals, who have already had five other players named to the All-Star Game, are also leaning heavily on their social media following to generate a voting push for Martinez. Through its team Twitter and Instagram accounts, the club has already begun to roll out 18 reasons to vote for No. 18. Prizes will also be offered through social media for those supporting Martinez's campaign.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.