Castro leads Cubs crop on All-Star ballot

Castro leads Cubs crop on All-Star ballot

Castro leads Cubs crop on All-Star ballot
CHICAGO -- Starlin Castro was the Cubs' lone All-Star representative last year. The shortstop is off to another hot start; will he be in Kansas City on July 10?

Castro was one of eight Cubs on this year's All-Star ballot before Marlon Byrd was traded to the Red Sox. Online voting began today and it's up to the fans to send their favorite Cubs player to the game.

Bryan LaHair finally made a Major League team's Opening Day roster. Could he be an All-Star? And what about Alfonso Soriano, who is off to a good start. A seven-time All-Star, could he return?

Darwin Barney, Ian Stewart, Geovany Soto and David DeJesus also are on the All-Star ballot for the Cubs. Soto played in the 2008 game for the Cubs, and Byrd was the team's lone rep on the 2010 National League squad, when he scored a run and also threw out David Ortiz at second in the ninth inning.

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your 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.

In-stadium balloting at Wrigley Field begins Monday when the Cubs play host to the Cardinals and runs until June 17.

Castro was the youngest player in Cubs history to make the All-Star team when selected last season. Now 22, the shortstop ranks among the NL leaders in batting average and stolen bases. In 2011, he was the youngest player ever to lead the National League in hits with 207.

Soriano, 36, has seemed rejuvenated this season and is looking for his first All-Star selection since 2008. He was selected to the team seven consecutive years, beginning in '02.

LaHair, Stewart, Barney, and DeJesus have never been selected to the mid-summer game.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.