DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau has taken the early lead in the fan voting to make the final spot on the roster for the All-Star game.
Morneau has a slight lead over by Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Braves left fielder Justin Upton.
The player who wins the vote will be announced Thursday, which is also when the final competitor for the Home Run Derby in each league will be announced.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is the captain for the National League’s Home Run Derby roster and Morneau is a possibility for the last NL selection if he makes the team, according to Tulo.
LINK: Vote For Justin Morneau
The All-Star Game is being played in Minneapolis, and Morneau, who began his career with the Twins, would love to return to Minnesota.
“If he wins that final vote, there’s possibly a chance,” Tulowitzki said. “I think it would make a story line. Played with the Twins all those years. He’s definitely on the list if he makes the team. There are some other guys as well that have lobbied and would be good choices.”
Tulowitzki has picked Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton, who entered Tuesday leading the National League in homers, Yasiel Puig from the Dodgers and Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier. He said he’s not sure if Morneau would want to participate in the Derby if he is not selected for the All-Star team.
Rockies players are doing everything they can to get Morneau to Minneapolis. Some of his teammates joined the cause with homemade signs they flashed during a TV interview with Morneau. Rockies second baseman Charlie Culberson also did a nice backflip during one of Morneau’s interviews (watch the video in the player at the top of the page).
“I was in there and I saw them making up the signs and I was wondering what they were up to,” Morneau said. “It’s pretty cool to see those guys back there and having guys on your side, your teammates rallying behind you, it’s a good feeling.”
– By Matthew J. Buettner, CBSDenver.com