Rizzo, Castro need more fan support for ASG nods

Rizzo, Castro need more fan support for ASG nods

MIAMI -- Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro have yet to reach the top five in fan balloting for National League All-Stars, but the two Cubs have put together some statistics that are worthy of consideration.

Rizzo ranks second among NL first basemen in home runs with 14, trailing the Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt (15), and is fifth in RBIs (37). The Cubs first baseman is third in on-base percentage (.406), fourth in slugging percentage (.509), and fifth in batting average (.282).

Goldschmidt is the top vote-getter among NL first baseman with 1,291,052 votes, followed by the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez, the Braves' Freddie Freeman, the Rockies' Justin Morneau, and the Giants' Brandon Belt.

"The first basemen in this league, they're all All-Stars," Rizzo said. "I'll just keep playing my game and not let it affect me. If the time comes and I make it, great. That's one of the things you dream of is being an All-Star."

Castro, a two-time All-Star, ranks second among NL shortstops in batting average (.281) and slugging percentage (.461), trailing the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki in both categories, and is fifth in home runs (nine). Tulowitzki is the top vote-getter among NL shortstops in the lastest ballot results released Sunday.

No Cubs players were listed among the top vote-getting position players, and the team's representative may be a pitcher. Jeff Samardzija is 10th in the NL with a 2.77 ERA while Jason Hammel is 11th with a 2.81 ERA.

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.

Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.

Fans this year once again can participate in the 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 Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby 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 14.

The 2014 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.

And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the 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 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, 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 will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

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.