Aramis Ramirez expected to replace Placido Polanco on All-Star team

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If Bruce Bochy was given the choice, he probably would have taken Aramis Ramirez in place of Chipper Jones when the latter was ruled out of the All-Star Game following knee surgery.

It wasn’t Bochy’s choice, though, and Scott Rolen, who finished behind Jones in the players’ vote, was forced on him as Chipper’s replacement.

Now, with starting third baseman Placido Polanco out due to a back injury, Bochy will get to make the call and Ramirez is his likely pick, he told ESPN this afternoon.

Ramirez, who has been on fire for a few weeks now, is up to .302/.350/.503 with 15 homers and 50 RBI this season, compared to .244/.277/.403 with five homers and 35 RBI for Rolen.  Since Ryan Zimmerman, David Wright and Pablo Sandoval have all missed big chunks of the first half, Ramirez is the obvious choice to receive the nod.

The only thing that might have stood in Ramirez’s way is Bochy’s fondness for his own third baseman, Sandoval.  Sandoval has hit in 20 straight games and is at .305/.345/.505 for the season, so he there certainly would have been some justification for taking him over Rolen.

Another young fan was struck by a foul ball, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field

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ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.

A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.

Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.

Diamondbacks clinch NL Wild Card

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Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.

The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.

The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.