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.

Miles Mikolas open to extension with Cardinals

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Though he has only accumulated just over two years of service time in the major leagues, Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas can become a free agent after the 2019 season due to language in his current two-year, $15.5 million contract. He is open to signing a contract extension with the Cardinals, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Mikolas said, “It’s something that the Cardinals and my agency have to work out – if the numbers work out and everything turns out to be it’s absolutely something that could happen.” His agent, from Octagon, has had discussions with the Cardinals about a framework for an extension.

Mikolas, 30, spent the 2015-17 seasons pitching for the Yomiuri Giants in the Japan Central League. He had great results, which he was able to leverage into a contract back in the U.S. Last season, his first in the majors since 2014, he finished sixth in NL Cy Young balloting and earned a spot on the NL All-Star roster. The right-hander went 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA and a 146/29 K/BB ratio in 200 2/3 innings.

This coming season, Mikolas will be part of a starting rotation that also includes Carlos Martínez, Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, and Adam Wainwright.