All-Star push needed for Astros' Castro, Altuve

Catcher, second baseman deserving, but need fans' help after ballot update

All-Star push needed for Astros' Castro, Altuve

HOUSTON -- Catcher Jason Castro became the first Astros player to be named American League Player of the Week last month, perhaps putting himself in position to become the first Houston player to make the AL All-Star team.

No Astros were among the leaders when the first round of fan voting was released Monday, but Castro and second baseman Jose Altuve -- the Astros' lone representative on last year's National League All-Star team -- are both having All-Star-caliber first halves.

"It would be incredible," Castro said of making the All-Star team. "It would be more than a dream come true. I think it might take a while to sink in for something like that to hit home, but just being here and being able to play every day, I've been grateful for the opportunity and if something like that can come of it, then that's just an added bonus."

Castro entered Monday tied for second among AL catchers in hits with 45, trailing only Salvador Perez of the Royals (47). He's first among AL catchers with 15 doubles and sixth with 16 RBIs. He was third in batting average (.288) and first in slugging percentage (.519).

Altuve began the week third among AL second basemen with 64 hits. He's tied with Miguel Cabrera, Chris David, Alex Gordon, Adam Jones and James Loney with seven three-hit games, which is tied for fourth in the AL.

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 July 4 at 10:59 p.m. CT.

Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period, but 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, 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 who 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 7 p.m. CT on July 15.

The 2013 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on 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 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.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.