Fans can make Tulo an All-Star starter for NL

Fans can make Tulo an All-Star starter for NL

DENVER -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is off to a slow start, but he is known to heat up. Can he turn hot enough -- and earn enough votes -- to make his first start for the National League in the All-Star Game?

All-Star Game balloting is under way, and Tulowitzki is one of several key Rockies names on the ballot. Last year, Tulowitzki held a lead up to the final days of voting but was overcome by Jose Reyes, with a large-market voting bloc of fans that pushed the former Mets star over the top.

Rockies fans have a chance to go online and give Tulowitzki the votes he needs be the starter this time around.

Colorado also has some veterans who have started off hot, especially first baseman Todd Helton, a Final Vote candidate last year who holds the club record with five All-Star appearances, and outfielder Michael Cuddyer, a standout for years with the Twins who has helped bolster the Rockies' lineup this year after signing a three-year contract with the club over the winter. Cuddyer represented the Twins in the 2011 All-Star Game.

Second baseman Marco Scutaro, third baseman Chris Nelson, catcher Ramon Hernandez and outfielders Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez round out the ballot for the Rockies.

Helton was the most recent Rockies player voted by fans to the starting lineup, manning first for the NL in 2003. The most recent position player to start was Matt Holliday, now with the Cardinals, in 2008. He was named by then Rockies skipper Clint Hurdle, who now manages the Pirates. Ubaldo Jimenez, now with the Indians, represented the Rockies and started for the NL in 2010.

Tulowitzki was chosen by his peers to the last two Midsummer Classics. He did not play in Anaheim in 2010 because of a wrist injury. Last year, he had a quadriceps injury in the days leading up to the game but was healthy enough to play. He went 1-for-2 in the NL's 5-1 victory in Phoenix.

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 9:59 p.m. MT.

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 6 p.m. MT 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 balloting 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 Coors Field runs from May 1 to June 14.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.