Yesterday was the AL, today the Senior Circuit. Here are the vote leaders by position:
- First Base: Joey Votto, 1,044,742
- Second Base: Brandon Phillips, 1,019,240
- Third Base: Pablo Sandoval, 1,094,475
- Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki, 1,025,844
- Outfield: Justin Upton, 1,184,249, Bryce Harper, 1,182,532, Ryan Braun 945,665
- Catcher: Buster Posey, 1,275,956
They don’t do DH balloting in the NL, obviously. All of the vote totals can be seen here.
While the Reds and Giants are more than well-represented in the top slots, I feel like there is some Braves ballot-box stuffing going on too. Dan Uggla is the fifth place second baseman. Some 400,000+ people think B.J. Upton deserves to be in the All-Star Game. That’s worse than voting for an immobile and inactive Derek Jeter. At least Jeter would play well if he could, you know, walk.
No one is particularly close to Votto, Phillips, Tulowitzki, or Posey. David Wright is within striking distance of Sandoval. Carlos Beltran is a pretty strong fourth outfielder at the moment. If I remember correctly, Cardinals players surged in later vote tabulations last year, so maybe there’s hope for him and Molina and others.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.