Tulo keeps comfortable All-Star voting lead
Arenado, Blackmon need fans' help to garner starting spots
SAN FRANCISCO -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki insists he doesn't show off just for All-Star votes or honors.
Of course, he leads all National League players with nearly 2.6 million votes, according to the weekly tally that was released Sunday. It looks as if only injury can prevent him from starting July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Nonetheless, Tulowitzki, clearly the Majors' premier offensive shortstop, put up a strong argument last week that his defense should be considered tops as well.
At Coors Field last week were the Braves, whose shortstop, Andrelton Simmons, won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award last year while Tulowitzki missed much of the season with a rib injury. Simmons also has some sabermetric computations that, given his age (24), are said to have him on the track of some of the all-time great defenders at his position.
But during a four-game set with the Braves, Tulowitzki gave everyone a couple of plays to compute -- a barehand grab of a bouncer and a hard throw to retire a sliding Simmons at first base Tuesday night, and a spinning throw from behind second base to erase B.J. Upton the next day.
"I get that, and there are times before the series when people come up to me and say, 'Hey, it should be a good battle, you and so-and-so at shortstop,'" Tulowitzki said. "You get the Atlanta people coming up talking about Andrelton Simmons and me, and it's a big-time showdown. I try not to go there. I try to concentrate on the team aspect of it and do what I can to help my team win games. Maybe when the season is over, you look back at things like that."
Going into Sunday, Tulowitzki, 29, had the numbers to support him in defensive comparisons to any NL shortstop. According to the Baseball Reference website, Tulowitzki led NL shortstops in range factor per nine innings and per game and was second in total zone runs to the Pirates' Jordy Mercer. He also was tops in fielding percentage.
But if someone who has, say, a Gold Glove vote remembers Tulowitzki's performance with Simmons in town, he won't mind.
"If anything, he won the Gold Glove last year and it's an award I've won [twice] in the past," Tulowitzki said. "If I want it back in my hands, I'll have to go through him. But you don't think about that when you're out there on the field."
Tulowitzki, with 2,593,387 votes, is the only Rockies player in line to be elected as a starter. Tulowitzki and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (2,003,557) are the only NL players who have crossed the 2 million mark in votes.
Third baseman Nolan Arenado, who led the early voting at his position but suffered a broken left middle finger May 23, has 895,905 votes and is third behind the Mets' David Wright (1,051,640) and the Giants' Pablo Sandoval (973,221). Outfielder Charlie Blackmon, also an early leader, is sixth among outfielders. The top three outfield vote-getters are the starters.
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 9:59 p.m. MT. 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 6 p.m. MT 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.