The rosters have been announced for this year’s MLB All-Star Game, on deck to take place Tuesday, July 15, in Minneapolis at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. Because the game is being held in an American League park, the designated hitter will be used, and AL fans selected home run leader Nelson Cruz of the Baltimore Orioles to start at the position next week.

Cruz sits perfectly at the epicenter of so much that’s happening in baseball right now: suspended last season after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), he signed a cheaper-than-expected free agent deal with the O’s and has supplied a power surge that’s lifted the team into first place in the topsy-turvy AL East.

Nelson Cruz has provided the Orioles with some much needed power in the first half of 2014.

PEDs remain a hot-button issue in baseball, and coincidentally offense has been down in a big way across both leagues all season. It’ll take big performances from Cruz and his peers in both dugouts to overcome the lights-out pitching that’ll be taking the mound all night in Minnesota. Last year’s game saw the AL reclaim victory after a three-year National League winning streak, and home field advantage earned in the 2013 ASG proved important to the eventual World Series winning Boston Red Sox.

Mariano Rivera closed out his All-Star resume in the AL's victory in 2013.

Notable players in this year’s Midsummer Classic include Derek Jeter of the Yankees, whose last appearance before retirement will be starting at shortstop thanks to the fan vote, and Blue Jays outfielder Jose “Joey Bats” Bautista, who led all players in votes and led the Blue Jays to bombs-away first half that has them in the AL East and Wild Card races.

For the National League, the outfield trio of Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gomez, and Yasiel Puig all earned their first starting nods from the fans while Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki garnered the most votes among Senior Circuit representatives. Fans don’t pick the pitchers – players and managers do – but expect to see deep, dominant bullpens at the disposal of both leagues in an effort to shut down some of the fastest and most powerful hitters the game has ever seen. It should be another great night of the National Pastime to shine. Play ball!

MLB All-Star Game Tickets

2014 American League All-Stars

Player Position Team Fan-Voted Starter
Miguel Cabrera 1B Tigers X
Brandon Moss 1B A’s
Jose Abreu 1B White Sox
Robinson Cano 2B Mariners X
Jose Altuve 2B Astros
Josh Donaldson 3B A’s X
Kyle Seager 3B Mariners
Adrian Beltre 3B Rangers
Matt Wieters C Orioles X
Derek Norris C A’s
Salvador Perez C Royals
Kurt Suzuki C Twins
Nelson Cruz DH Orioles X
Edwin Encarnacion DH Blue Jays
Victor Martinez DH Tigers
Mike Trout OF Angels X
Jose Bautista OF Blue Jays X
Adam Jones OF Orioles X
Yoenis Cespedes OF A’s
Michael Brantley OF Indians
Alex Gordon OF Royals
Sean Doolittle RP A’s
Greg Holland RP Royals
Glen Perkins RP Twins
Dellin Betances RP Yankees
Scott Kazmir SP A’s
Mark Buehrle SP Blue Jays
Felix Hernandez SP Mariners
Yu Darvish SP Rangers
David Price SP Rays
Jon Lester SP Red Sox
Max Scherzer SP Tigers
Masahiro Tanaka SP Yankees
Derek Jeter SS Yankees X
Alexei Ramirez SS White Sox

2014 National League All-Stars

Player Position Team Fan-Voted Starter
Paul Goldschmidt 1B Diamondbacks X
Freddie Freeman 1B Braves
Chase Utley 2B Phillies X
Dee Gordon 2B Dodgers
Daniel Murphy 2B Mets
Aramis Ramirez 3B Brewers X
Matt Carpenter 3B Cardinals
Todd Frazier 3B Reds
Yadier Molina C Cardinals X
Jonathon Lucroy C Brewers
Devin Mesoraco C Reds
Carlos Gomez OF Brewers X
Yasiel Puig OF Dodgers X
Andrew McCutchen OF Pirates X
Hunter Pence OF Giants
Giancarlo Stanton OF Marlins
Josh Harrison OF Pirates
Charlie Blackmon OF Rockies
Craig Kimbrel RP Braves
Francisco Rodriguez RP Brewers
Pat Neshek RP Cardinals
Tony Watson RP Pirates
Aroldis Chapman RP Reds
Julio Teheran SP Braves
Adam Wainwright SP Cardinals
Jeff Samardzija SP Cubs / A’s
Clayton Kershaw SP Dodgers
Zack Greinke SP Dodgers
Madison Bumgarner SP Giants
Jordan Zimmerman SP Nationals
Tyson Ross SP Padres
Johnny Cueto SP Reds
Troy Tulowitzki SS Rockies X
Starlin Castro SS Cubs Final Vote Candidates

Some of this season’s notable snubs have a final chance to be selected by the fans via the Final Vote at In the American League, White Sox pitching phenom Chris Sale is currently the front runner over other starting pitchers in the running: Dallas Keuchel (Astros), Corey Kluber (Indians), Rich Porcello (Tigers), and Garrett Richards (Angels). For the Senior Circuit, resurgent first baseman Justin Morneau of the Rockies leads the voting over Casey McGehee (Marlins), Anthony Rendon (Nationals), Anthony Rizzo (Cubs), and Justin Upton (Braves). Voting closes at 4p on Thursday, so make sure your vote is counted by the deadline!

2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Highlights

MLB All-Star Snubs

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