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Schierholtz needs a big boost at the ballot box

Schierholtz needs a big boost at the ballot box

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Schierholtz needs a big boost at the ballot box

CHICAGO -- Nate Schierholtz has set career high in home runs, and it's not even July. The Cubs outfielder leads the team in batting with runners in scoring position, which is one of the reasons manager Dale Sveum moved him to the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

Of all the Cubs' position players, Schierholtz, who was batting .289 with 10 home runs and 27 RBIs entering play Sunday, may be the best bet to represent the team in the July 16 All-Star Game.

"I signed here because I knew I'd have a chance to play here more than I have in the past," Schierholtz said. "My goal is to go out and help the team win and get on base and drive in runs. That's something I'll continue to work on. I'm just happy that I've been given this opportunity."

There's still time to vote for Schierholtz, but he'll need a surge of support. No Cubs players were in the top five at any position in the latest balloting results, released Sunday.

A Cubs pitcher who could get picked for the All-Star Game is Travis Wood, who has posted quality starts in 13 of his 14 outings. Fans do not vote for the pitchers.

"We'll see what happens," Wood said. "It'd be awesome. That's what every player tries to play for. I'll just see what happens, and if it happens, it'd be great, and if not, I'll stay here and get my work in."

Wood has no travel plans for the All-Star break, and wouldn't mind another trip to New York.

"If you had to say one guy [who deserves an All-Star berth], because of the consistency, it would have to be Travis Wood," Sveum said.

Other Cubs on the NL ballot include two-time All-Star Starlin Castro, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, second baseman Darwin Barney, third baseman Luis Valbuena, catcher Welington Castillo, and outfielders Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus. Soriano, 37, is a seven-time All-Star, while this is the first time Rizzo, Valbuena, Castillo and Schierholtz have been on the ballot.

Wood is among the NL ERA leaders but hasn't had the wins to show for his production.

"That's a reflection on a lot of things -- run support, the bullpen may be giving up your runs," Sveum said. "[What's happening] here for the most part is our run production hasn't been very good for these guys to take off and win as many games."

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via a mobile device -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, July 4, at 10:59 p.m. CT.

Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period but can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, fans must be logged into an MLB.com account when submitting any online ballot. To obtain an MLB.com account, visit www.mlb.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.

Fans can also once again participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league whom they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2013 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 7 p.m. CT on Monday, July 15.

Though originally scheduled for July 7, the 2013 rosters will now be unveiled Saturday, July 6, at 5:30 p.m. CT on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell. The show will be televised nationally on FOX.

From Saturday, July 6 to Thursday, July 11, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com for the final player for each League's All-Star roster.

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 2013 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 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 84th 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 SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

NATIONAL LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTING
(as of June 23)

FIRST BASE
Joey Votto, Reds 2,677,813
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks 2,270,886
Allen Craig, Cardinals 1,801,138
Brandon Belt, Giants 1,323,511
Freddie Freeman, Braves 1,181,657

SECOND BASE
Brandon Phillips, Reds 2,597,742
Marco Scutaro, Giants 2,272,484
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals 2,251,248
Chase Utley, Phillies 1,136,890
Daniel Murphy, Mets 1,088,224

SHORTSTOP
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 3,104,285
Brandon Crawford, Giants 1,757,255
Jean Segura, Brewers 1,625,753
Pete Kozma, Cardinals 1,354,974
Andrelton Simmons, Braves 965,016

THIRD BASE
David Wright, Mets 2,917,819
Pablo Sandoval, Giants 2,788,988
David Freese, Cardinals 1,728,322
Chris Johnson, Braves 1,008,552
Aramis Ramirez, Brewers 881,559

CATCHER
Yadier Molina, Cardinals 3,596,858
Buster Posey, Giants 3,506,402
John Buck, Mets 1,087,519
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers 845,519
Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks 799,837

OUTFIELD
Carlos Beltran, Cardinals 3,473,030
Justin Upton, Braves 2,453,531
Bryce Harper, Nationals 2,363,965
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies 2,060,388
Ryan Braun, Brewers 2,010,310
Matt Holliday, Cardinals 1,947,864
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates 1,777,568
Hunter Pence, Giants 1,732,843
Shin-Soo Choo, Reds 1,566,597
Angel Pagan, Giants 1,541,055
Carlos Gomez, Brewers 1,393,464
Jon Jay, Cardinals 1,321,149
Gregor Blanco, Giants 1,210,892
Domonic Brown, Phillies 1,107,632
Jay Bruce, Reds 978,994

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.

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