ST. LOUIS -- Yadier Molina has been named to each of the last five National League All-Star teams. If the first round of voting, released on Wednesday, is any indication, he's well on his way to a sixth straight nod.
Molina is the leading vote-getter among NL catchers, with 640,464, a spacious lead over second-place Buster Posey (421,100) of the Giants. Among all NL players, Molina is second in total votes only to Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (745,823).
Molina's 2014 campaign is off to a hot start, as he has hit .317 with five home runs and 23 RBIs. Behind the plate he's thrown out 54 percent of those who have attempted to swipe a base on him, the Majors' best such percentage.
"He continues to impress us," Mike Matheny, who will manage the NL All-Star team, said of his catcher. "There are little things that happen in real time that you really don't prepare for -- the instincts, just the way he thinks about the game, the way he thinks about our team. He's just a great asset to our pitching staff as a whole. He kind of sets a tone. That's what you ask your leaders to do, and I don't think he could do it any better."
Molina has played in four of the five All-Star Games to which he was voted, going 3-for-6 with a run scored and an RBI.
No other Cardinals are among the top five at any position. Left fielder Matt Holliday is sitting 11th among outfielders, with 212,763 votes. Colorado outfielder Charlie Blackmon (549,394) is in first, with Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen (467,378) and Milwaukee's Ryan Braun (446,780) behind him.
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 11:59 p.m. ET. 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.
The 2014 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. The AL will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL will have eight fan-elected starters. 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 All-Star managers Mike Matheny (NL) and John Farrell (AL).
Immediately following the announcement of the rosters, you can select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Choose again at that point from among five players in each league. The Final Vote returns for its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast to date, and you'll be able to make selections on MLB.com, club sites and your mobile device.
You'll be on a voting tear at that point, having already selected starters and the last men, and the ritual will not 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 big game, vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi. The fan 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.
Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less