NL All-Star ballot update: Pujols remains tops at first, but for how long?

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Major League Baseball just announced the latest vote tallies for the National League All-Stars. In light of today’s news, the totals at first base are the most notable: Albert Pujols leads Joey Votto 2,806,864 to 2,270,211.

Obviously the vote totals don’t reflect the fact that Pujols was knocked out yesterday and only announced as being unavailable for the All-Star Game today. I’ll be curious to see, however, how much ground Votto closes in the four days (in-stadium) and ten days (online) between now and when voting ends. I assume not by enough, but it will be neat to see how much Pujols’ unavailability filters into the vote.

Elsewhere, there are close battles at second base, where Brandon Phillips leads Rickie Weeks by fewer than 200,000 votes and shortstop, where Troy Tulowitzki leads Jose Reyes by around 400,000 or so.

If it all ended today, your starters would be Brian McCann behind the plate, Pujols (subbed with Votto, most likely), Phillips, Tulowitzki, Placido Polanco, Ryan Braun, Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.