DENVER -- Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez was placed in the starting lineup in last year's All-Star Game as the designated hitter, a position not available on the National League ballot. Now he has a chance to win an election.
Gonzalez and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who was invited to the All-Star Game in 2010 and '12, highlight the Rockies' contingent on the 2013 All-Star ballot, which was released Wednesday. The Rockies also have candidates for first-time trips in catcher Wilin Rosario and center fielder Dexter Fowler, both off to strong starts, as well as right fielder-first baseman Michael Cuddyer, who represented the Twins in 2011 and could put up All-Star worthy numbers with the Rockies this year.
The process for determining which Rockies will be voted to the starting National League squad -- a process in the hands of fans -- for this year's All-Star Game, on July 16 at Citi Field in New York, begins Wednesday. Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your mobile device -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, July 4, at 9:59 p.m. MT.
Coming off a last-place finish in the NL West last season, the Rockies started this year as one of baseball's hottest teams. Gonzalez, with his impressive power and series of highlight plays in the field, and Tulowitzki, with his early-season run production that put the Rockies in the lead, were two key reasons, but not the only ones.
Fowler hit a career-high 13 home runs last year, but he had already stroked seven by mid-April. Rosario continued the power that led to 28 home runs last year. Cuddyer took much of last year adjusting to the NL and dealt with injuries toward the end of the year, but this year he has been the run producer the Rockies expected when they signed him to a three-year contract before last season.
Here is how fans can help put any or all of these players on the NL squad:
Fans may submit twenty-five (25) online ballots during the voting period, but can also earn a one-time bonus of ten (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, 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 6 p.m. MT on Monday, July 15.
The 2013 American League and NL All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 7, on the 2013 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 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com 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 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.
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.