McLouth, Sanchez need Bucs fans' votes

McLouth, Sanchez need Bucs fans' votes

Though they have successfully helped to stabilize an offense that is without Ryan Doumit, neither Freddy Sanchez nor Nate McLouth seem to have garnered much attention for their starts in balloting for the All-Star Game.

Both players have represented the Pirates in the Midsummer Classic before -- McLouth in 2008 and Sanchez in '06 and '07. But with the first tabulation of online voting totals released on Tuesday, Sanchez falls just outside the Top 5 among National League second basemen, while McLouth sits outside the Top 15 vote-getters for outfielders.

The only Pirate to have been voted a starter by the fans in the past eight years was Jason Bay, who started the '06 All-Star Game in Pittsburgh.

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com.

And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com.

The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.

Sanchez seems like the most deserving of the Pirates' position players so far this season, especially with this first release of votes coming just one day after Sanchez became the first Pirates player since 1990 to have six hits in a game.

Sanchez's 6-for-6 showing on Monday raised his average back up to .320 after an 8-for-46 slump had it dip below the .200 mark.

As for McLouth, despite getting off to a bit of a slow start, the centerfielder has picked up his production and is the team leader in home runs and RBIs. His current pace in both of those statistical categories has McLouth on pace to surpass his 26-homer, 94-RBI total from his '08 All-Star season.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.