NL All-Star balloting update: Melky in, Braun out

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Just like in Monday’s AL balloting update, one spot in the National League projected All-Star lineup changed hands this week. Melky Cabrera moved ahead of Ryan Braun into third place in the outfield.

Cabrera is deserving based on his performance this season, but one can’t help but notice that Giants fans have been awfully generous in voting for their favorites to date. Angel Pagan ranks ahead of Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Gonzalez in the outfield, Brandon Belt is fourth at first base and even Brandon Crawford is fifth at shortstop.

CATCHER
Buster Posey, Giants: 2,445,005
Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 2,291,567
Carlos Ruiz, Phillies: 1,756,018

FIRST BASE
Joey Votto, Reds: 3,151,032
Freddie Freeman, Braves: 1,193,455
Lance Berkman, Cardinals: 1,159,418

SECOND BASE
Dan Uggla, Braves: 2,054,920
Brandon Phillips, Reds: 1,272,389
Jose Altuve, Astros: 1,074,993

THIRD BASE
David Wright, Mets: 1,977,388
Pablo Sandoval, Giants: 1,612,497
Chipper Jones, Braves: 1,547,221

SHORTSTOP
Rafael Furcal, Cardinals: 1,741,360
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: 1,647,235
Starlin Castro, Cubs: 1,006,333

OUTFIELD
Matt Kemp, Dodgers: 3,322,009
Carlos Beltran, Cardinals: 2,652,980
Melky Cabrera, Giants: 2,144,107
Ryan Braun, Brewers: 2,118,925
Andre Ethier, Dodgers: 1,517,218
Matt Holliday, Cardinals: 1,374,004
Hunter Pence, Phillies: 1,234,428
Michael Bourn, Braves: 1,201,215
Angel Pagan, Giants: 1,158,500

Report: Orioles expected to replace Buck Showalter

Buck Showalter
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Orioles manager Buck Showalter is not expected to retain his position with the club beyond the 2018 season, according to multiple reports from Jon Heyman of Fancred and Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. Nothing appears to be finalized just yet, however, and the Orioles have yet to address rumors of Showalter’s impending departure or news of a possible contract extension for general manager Dan Duquette.

Even so, it’s been a year of near-unprecedented disaster for the 62-year-old skipper, who helped lead the team to a 44-108 record prior to the outcome of Friday’s series opener against the Yankees. With the Orioles’ 108th loss — a 4-6 heartbreaker against the Blue Jays on Tuesday — they tied the 1937 St. Louis Browns for the second-most losses in a single season, eclipsed only by the 43-111 record of the 1939 Browns. As they have just 10 games remaining in the regular season, this year’s team has no chance of climbing out of last place in the AL East and may well finish with the worst record in the AL to boot.

While the Orioles’ missteps don’t bode well for Showalter’s future in Baltimore, he’s brought far more good than harm to the organization over the last eight and a half years. He assumed the managerial position from interim manager Juan Samuel in the middle of the team’s 2010 season and guided the club to five winning seasons and three postseason appearances in 2012, 2014, and 2016. Entering the 2018 season, his record sits at 666 wins and 677 losses, the winningest mark by any of the team’s skippers since Earl Weaver wrapped his 17-season run with the team in 1986. Whether the Orioles believe Showalter is capable of recovering from two consecutive losing seasons and returning the team to their former days of glory (and the occasional division title) remains to be seen, of course, though there’s plenty to recommend him as they prepare to advance a full-scale rebuild over the offseason.