McCutchen needs help to move up on ballot

McCutchen needs help to move up on ballot

McCutchen needs help to move up on ballot
PITTSBURGH -- First updates on voting for the 2012 National League All-Star Team, announced Tuesday by Major League Baseball, contained no surprises for the Pirates and their fans.

Well, with the one possible exception of center fielder Andrew McCutchen's relatively low standing among the league's outfielders.

Despite being a strong candidate for player of the month honors during May, when fan voting hit its stride, McCutchen ranks 10th among outfielders (irrespective of where they play) with 457,223 votes.

Despite not ranking atop the leader boards, McCutchen has maintained a positive attitude about the process.

"It's great to be mentioned," McCutchen said. "I'm satisfied with having even a little bit of recognition. It's pretty cool to be on the list, and rank among (NL) outfielders".

No other Pirates players appear on the early leader board, not a shock given the offensive struggles that have highlighted the club's first two months. Pitching has kept the Bucs in the early running in the NL Central -- and pitchers are not part of the balloting process.

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via a mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Fans can also once again participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. The 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 9.

The 2012 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1, on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com.

And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, 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 Sirius XM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.

While Matt Kemp of the Dodgers is the big leader among outfielders with 1,952,910 votes, McCutchen is also about 650,000 votes behind the Brewers' Ryan Braun, who in third place and is holding down the final starting spot.

It is admittedly a very strong pool of outfield candidates. In addition to perennial standouts such as Kemp, Braun and the Cardinals' Matt Holliday, people like Carlos Beltran and Melky Cabrera are having unexpectedly strong seasons and attracting good vote support.

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.