On cusp of breakout, Wieters deserves votes

On cusp of breakout, Wieters deserves votes

CHICAGO -- The Orioles are off to a solid start to the season, with Adam Jones and Matt Wieters picking up where they left off in 2011 and closer Jim Johnson settling nicely into his new ninth-inning role. You can help reward the trio -- and all of the Orioles' starters -- for their efforts by voting them to the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City.

Last year, the Orioles had one representative in Wieters, who also won an American League Gold Glove Award, and Baltimore is looking for more of a presence at this year's Midseason Classic.

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Fans can also once again participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league whom they would most like to see participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. The 2012 State Farm 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 8 p.m. on Monday, July 9.

The 2012 AL and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1, on the 2012 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 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote 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 2012 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 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 83rd 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 Sirius XM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.

Wieters has seen his power numbers spike since last year's All-Star Game, and in 2011, Jones was a candidate for a spot via the Final Vote -- an honor that ultimately went to Chicago White Sox slugger Paul Konerko.

Jones was the Orioles' All-Star representative in 2009, when he hit a game-winning sacrifice fly, while Johnson has never been to an All-Star Game. Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis, who picked up his first Gold Glove Award last year, is another worthy candidate, along with shortstop J.J. Hardy, who hit a career-high 30 homers last season and has come out swinging again in 2012.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.