Tulo clinging to lead in All-Star voting

Tulo clinging to lead in All-Star voting

DENVER -- Injured Rockies shortstop Troy Tulolwitzki has seen his early lead in All-Star Game voting shrink to the narrowest margin at any position, but Carlos Gonzalez has made a slight climb in the voting for the three outfield spots, according to National League vote totals released Tuesday.

The 83rd All-Star Game will be played July 10 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Tulowitzki last played on May 30, before the first update. Now, his lead over the Cardinals' Rafael Furcal is down to 17,160 votes. Tulowitzki, who led last year until the Mets' Jose Reyes overtook him in the final days of the voting, is working his way back into the lineup.

Eligible to return on Friday, Tulowitzki took batting practice and live ground balls at Coors Field on Tuesday and will begin an injury rehab assignment on Wednesday.

According to the update, Tulowitzki has 1,200,256 votes to Furcal's 1,183,096.

Gonzalez is surging, going into Tuesday's opener of a three-game series with the Athletics leading the NL with 48 runs and ranking second in home runs (16) and RBIs (48), to go with a .326 batting average that was seventh in the league.

Last week, Gonzalez ranked 13th among outfielders, but he has moved up to 10th with 728,903 votes. The Dodgers' Matt Kemp leads at 2,589,464, and the next two starters -- if voting ended today -- are the Cardinals' Carlos Beltran at 1,782,831 and the Brewers' Ryan Braun at 1,553,356.

Other than Tulowitzki, who was invited to play in the All-Star Game the last two years and started last year with Reyes out with an injury, and Gonzalez, who is hoping for his first trip, no Rockies player ranks in the top five in any infield positions or among the top 15 among outfielders.

Fans can submit up to 25 ballots per email address online at coloradorockies.com through June 28, both wired or mobile. Once that voting ends, then comes the always-frenetic finish with the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote from July 1-5 and the annual MVP vote during the All-Star Game to help decide who wins the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award.

The 2012 rosters will be unveiled July 1 on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell, televised nationally on TBS.

The AL All-Star team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL squad will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- will be determined through a combination of Player Ballot choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers -- AL skipper Ron Washington of the Rangers and NL manager Tony La Russa -- in conjunction with MLB.

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. Pregame ceremonies will begin at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.

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.