The 2013 All-Star voting is boiling down to the final hours. Balloting is down to online voting from now until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, the Fourth of July.
Last year, during this period, there was a flood on votes cast. For example, Yadier Molina was the leading NL vote-getter when the most recent results were released Tuesday with almost 5.1 million. By the time the final surge of votes are counted, he may need more than 7 million votes to keep the title of leading vote-getter.
So a lot can still change. The All-Star teams will be announced on Saturday.
Still, MoreSplashHits is taking our best guess as to what the NL All-Star team might look like.
We’ll start with an assumption (a very shaky assumption at that) that the vote leaders won’t change in the final days of voting. But that at least serves as a starting point.
The position leaders we feel most likely will hold onto their leads and be voted All-Star starters are SS Troy Tulowitzki (although he’s injured and likely will be replaced) and OF Carlos Beltran.
We’ve added an “IF” section for those positions where the vote is close.
We’ve included their July 2 vote total, and lead over No. 2 vote-getter at their position.
- 1B – Joey Votto, Reds (3.62 million, +587K over Paul Goldschmidt)
- 2B – Brandon Phillips, Reds (3.41 million, +225K over Matt Carpenter)
- SS – Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (4.07 million, +1.7M over Brandon Crawford)
- 3B – David Wright, Mets (4.45 million, +842K over Pablo Sandoval)
- C – Yadier Molina, Cardinals (5.09 million, +419K over Buster Posey)
- OF – Carlos Beltran, Cardinals (5.01 million)
- OF – Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies (2.93 million)
- OF – Justin Upton, Braves (2.92 million, +15K over Bryce Harper)
PLAYERS VOTES (16 players)
The players vote on eight pitchers (five starters, three relievers) and the eight backups at each position. So this is a prediction on who those players would be based on the aforementioned projected starters.
- SP – Matt Harvey, Mets
- SP – Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
- SP – Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks
- SP – Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
- SP – Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
- RP – Craig Kimbrel, Braves
- RP – Jason Grilli, Pirates
- RP – Aroldis Chapman, Reds
- 1B – Paul Goldschmidt , Diamondbacks
- 2B – Marco Scutaro, Giants
- SS – Jean Segura, Brewers
- 3B – Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
- C – Buster Posey, Giants
- OF – Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
- OF – Michael Cuddyer , Rockies
- OF – Carlos Gomez , Brewers
When players vote, it’s often more about reputation than results. But I think the players will get this mostly right. The one reputation vote goes to Chapman. Results say better options could be Jonathan Papelbon of the Phillies, Edwin Mujica of the Cardinals or Rafael Soriano of the Nationals. But Chapman brings the heat. It’s not a bad pick. When Chapman is on, he’s filthy. The other tight vote goes to Scutaro. Results here say Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals is the better pick, if you base that off this year’s numbers. But if you go back to the second half of last year, then Scutaro is clearly deserving. When you add Scutaro’s postseason heroics and the fact he’s a 37-year-old veteran who has never made an All-Star team, Scutaro becomes a sentimental pick.
MANAGER PICKS (9 more)
This is where Bruce Bochy comes in. And it’s not just Bochy picking his nine favorite players. There are other factors, including making sure every team is represented and picking a third catcher.
- P – Cliff Lee, Phillies
- P – Jose Fernandez, Marlins (Marlins rep)
- P – Jeff Locke, Pirates
- P – Kevin Gregg, Cubs (Cubs rep)
- P – Sergio Romo, Giants
- BP – Wilin Rosario, Rockies
- BP – Everth Cabrera, Padres (Padres rep)
- BP – Dominic Brown, Phillies
- BP – Allen Craig, Cardinals
OK, first the team reps. For the Marlins, a month ago it may have been closer Steve Cichek. But his ERA is on the rise. And a nod to a 20-year-old rookie would be nice bonus for Marlins fans looking to the future. For the Cubs, the best position player candidate is OF Nate Schierholtz. No kidding! Schierholtz. But really it’s down to starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija and Gregg. Samardzija has a lot of K’s, but a losing record (5-7). Gregg has been great out of the pen. For the Padres, the two candidates are up the middle: Cabrera or rookie Jedd Gyroko. Both deserving to represent the Padres, but the Tulowitzki unlikely to play (opening a roster spot for the Nationals’ Ian Desmond), Cabrera seems like the smart choice. As for the rest, Lee and Locke are solid choices. Romo is the easiest Giants selection for Bochy to defend (and if you go back to second half of 2012 plus the postseason, it’s not a bad pick). Rosario would be the third catcher (always a must in an All-Star game), and sluggers Brown and Craig round out the team.
Bochy will get to select the five candidates for the fans to vote for the last roster spot. All of these five players are deserving. Carpenter could have been picked over Scutaro. Choo or Bruce over Brown. Freeman over Craig. Soriano over Chapman. I don’t see Bochy opening up a spot on this vote for Yasiel Puig (unless MLB makes him). Bochy loves veterans, and is unlikely to open a spot for a guy who has been up for four weeks. And frankly, we agree with that thinking.
- Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
- Shin-Soo Choo, Reds
- Freddie Freeman, Braves
- Jay Bruce, Reds
- Rafael Soriano, Nationals
NOW FOR THE IF’S
Votto, Wright and Phillips are good bets to hold onto their leads. But if by chance they end up losing the vote, they will win on the players vote. The same is true for Molina if Posey makes a late surge. If Carpenter pulls off the upset at second base, that could bump Scutaro into a manager’s pick, bumping either Brown or Craig off the team and onto the Final Five vote (bumping Soriano off Final Five). While Scutaro is battling back issues and mallet finger — meaning he could use the break — I think Bochy would select him anyway, then maybe just give him a pinch-hitting opportunity in the All-Star Game.
Upton holds a narrow lead over Bryce Harper for the final outfield spot. I don’t think either makes the team if they don’t win the voting. Upton got off to a torrid start, but has cooled WAY down since and is hitting below .250. Harper has just been activated after spening a month on the DL. Matt Holliday and McCutchen are within striking distance in the voting, and don’t count out Hunter Pence (in 7th in voting) if Giants fans get out the vote again.
The San Francisco Giants are 39-43. They are 10-18 since June 1. They’ve lost seven of their last eight games, nine of their last 11, 12 of their last 16.
Has the June swoon, which continued into July with an 8-1 rain-shortened loss to the Reds on Monday, cooled the fervor of Giants’ fans from getting out the vote for the NL All-Star game?
Last season, a late push of online votes propelled Buster Posey, Melky Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval into All-Star starters. Posey set an all-time record for all-star votes with more than 7 million votes.
In voting results released Tuesday, the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina continues to be the NL’s leading vote-getter with 5,093,645 votes. Posey is No. 2 at the catching position, more than 300,000 votes behind Molina. Posey is the No. 3 overall NL vote-getter — outfielder Carlos Beltran has 5.013 million votes.
All-Star voting ends on Thursday.
Again, no Giant leads his position in All-Star voting. David Wright of the Mets extended his lead over Pablo Sandoval at third base to 842,000 votes.
In fact, the Giants player who is closest to the top vote-getter at his position is Marco Scutaro, who trails the Reds’ Brandon Phillips by less than 300,000 votes. However, Scutaro is in third at second base, as the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter is in second, 44,000 votes ahead of Scutaro.
Brandon Crawford continues to be No. 2 among shortstops, but trails leader Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies by almost 1.7 million votes.
First baseman Brandon Belt is fourth at his position. Hunter Pence is 7th among outfielders, while Angel Pagan is 9th and Gregor Blanco is 13th.
The Giants snapped a six-game winning streak with a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
It also snapped a five-game losing streak at Coors Field.
The Giants finished the first half of the season a 39-42, their worst 81-game record since going 35-46 in 2008, the Giants’ last losing season.
Once again, Buster Posey made a key contribution. Playing his second consecutive game at first base, Posey homered in the third inning. It was the fourth time in the past five games that Posey has gone deep.
Posey was at the plate when the Giants scored again in the fifth, although he didn’t get credit for the RBI because the Giants scored with help from a Colorado error.
With runners on second and third, Posey grounded to second. After Posey was thrown out at first, Rockies first baseman Jordan Pacheco tried to throw out Tony Abreu, who had wandered too far away from second. But Pacheco’s throw went into left field, allowing Andres Torres to score.
It was the first time since June 15 the Giants scored an unearned run.
Hunter Pence followed with a two-run home run to right center. It was the first time in five games a player other than Buster Posey had driven in a run for the Giants.
The Giants caught another break in the seventh when Juan Perez scored all the way from first on a Texas Leaguer to shallow right-center by Guillermo Quiroz.
That was more than enough for Madison Bumgarner, who gave up a solo home run to Carlos Gonzalez in seven innings of work.
Sergio Romo worked around a two-out double by Todd Helton in the ninth for his first save in 11 games. He had not saved a game on the road since June 2 in St. Louis.
Now the road trip heads to Cincinnati for a four-game set against the Reds.
For what it’s worth, the Giants have won their last four games at Cincinnati, including all three there during the NLDS last fall.
The Giants’ June swoon continued Saturday as the Giants’ offensive woes continued in a 2-1 loss to the Rockies.
The loss was the Giants’ sixth in a row. It’s been a long time since Giants fans have witnessed certain things. Consider …
- Last time the Giants won a game in Colorado — May 16, an 8-6 win. Since then, the Giants have dropped their last five games at Coors. In their last four losses at Denver, the Giants have scored a total of four runs.
- Last RBI by anyone other than Buster Posey: Andres Torres’ RBI single in the 9th on Tuesday (since then all runs scored on two-run homer by Posey on Thursday, solo homer by Posey on Friday and RBI double by Posey on Saturday).
- Last time Giants had more than two runs on the board by the end of the sixth inning — Monday, June 17 vs. Padres (12 games ago)
- Last time a Giant came to the plate with the Giants holding the lead — Friday, June 21 (8 games ago) when Giants led 3-1 in the fifth during a 6-3 loss to Marlins (the Giants beat the Marlins 2-1 the next day, but that came on a walk-off hit to give Giants the lead for first time)
- Last time Giants enjoyed a three-run lead — Saturday, June 15 (14 games ago) when Giants led 5-2 in the sixth inning vs. the Braves, a game they would end up losing 6-5.
- Last time the Giants won a game on the raod — Friday, June 14, a 6-0 win over the Braves. The Giants have lost 7 straight on the road since.
- Last time Buster Posey did not start a game — Monday, June 17. He’s started 11 games since, including three at first base (June 21, June 26 and June 29). He may very well be at first base again Sunday against the left-hander Drew Pomeranz.
What’s going on with the San Francisco Giants fans?
Are they depressed by the team’s recent hitting woes? Have they let the team’s string of injuries drag them down?
Or are they simply laying in the weeds to make another big last-minute surge in the polls like they did last year?
Whatever the explanation, they haven’t gotten out the vote so far. And if the voting for the All-Star Game ended today, here’s how many Giants would be in the starting lineup for the Midsummer’s Classic …
None. Nada. Zilch. A big fat goose eggs (and we are not talking about Pablo Sandoval).
David Wright of the Mets has surpassed Pablo Sandoval as the top vote-getter among third basemen, and Yadier Molina of the Cardinals has passed Buster Posey as the leader among NL catchers.
Molina, in fact, is the leading vote-getter among all NL players with almost 3.6 million votes. Oddly enough, Posey is the second-leading vote-getter for all NL players with a little more than 3.5 million votes.
Last year, Posey set the record for the most votes received by any player elected to the All-Star game with more than 7.6 million votes. A huge chunk of those votes came in the final week of balloting — all of which was done online — when Giants fans flooded the ballots to elect Posey, Melky Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval as NL all-star starters.
Voting for the 2013 All-Star Game will continue through July 4, so there’s plenty of time for another Giant surge of votes.
And it’s not like Giants fans aren’t voting. Four Giants are the No. 2 vote-getters at their positions.
In addition to Posey, Sandoval trails Wright at third base (2.92 million to 2.79 million), Marco Scutaro trails Brandon Phillips at second base (2.6 million to 2.27 million) and Brandon Crawford trails Troy Tulowitzki (3.1 million to 1.76 million). Additionally, Brandon Belt is fourth at first base (behind Joey Votto, Paul Goldschmidt and Allen Craig). In the outfield, Hunter Pence is 8th, Angel Pagan 10th and Gregor Blanco is 13th.
It’s hard to ignore that Cardinals fans are getting the vote out. There are only two teams that have players listed among the top five at every infield position and all three outfield candidates listed in the top 13 — the Giants and the Cardinals.
Allen Craig is No. 3 at first base, Matt Carpenter is No. 3 at second base, Pete Freakin Kozma is No. 4 at shortstop, David Freese is third at third base, Molina leads at catcher and in the outfielder, Carlos Betran is No. 1, Matt Holliday is No. 6 and Jon Jay is No. 12.
The last time the San Francisco Giants beat the Marlins in San Francisco, it took extra innings. And it took extra innings to end the streak on Saturday.
The 11th-inning run rally Saturday for the Giants in a 2-1 win over the Miami Marlins was truly the definition of a scratch-it-out win.
The Giants loaded the bases in the 11th inning without hitting the ball out of the infield. Then they won the game on a bloop single down the left-field line by a hitter batting under .200 — Hector Sanchez.
And so ends the Marlins’ nine-game winning streak at AT&T Park. Let’s relive it.
The last time the Giants beat the Marlins in San Francisco was on July 28, 2010 when Andres Torres singled home Aaron Rowand with the bases loaded and one out for a 10-9 victory. Clay Hensley was the losing pitcher. Chris Ray, acquired earlier that year in a trade with Texas for Bengie Molina, was the winning pitcher.
Since then it’s been all Marlins.
- July 29, 2010 — Marlins 5, Giants 0
- May 24, 2011 — Marlins 5, Giants 1
- May 25, 2011 — Marlins 7, Giants 6, 12 innings (the Buster Posey injury game)
- May 26, 2011 — Marlins 1, Giants 0
- May 1, 2012 — Marlins 2, Giants 1
- May 2, 2012 — Marlins 3, Giants 2, 10 innings
- May 3, 2012 — Marlins 3, Giants 2
- May 4, 2012 — Marlins 6, Giants 4
- June 20, 2013 — Marlins 2, Giants 1
- June 21, 2013 — Marlins 6, Giants 3
As you can see, the Giants just don’t score many runs when the Fish come to town.
The Giants could manage only one run for 10 innings Saturday. And the Giants were lucky to get that one run.
After the Marlins perfectly defended a safety squeeze — throwing out Juan Perez at the plate on a bunt by Barry Zito — Zito was allowed to score on a ground-rule double by Gregor Blanco.
Blanco drove the ball deep into triples alley and the ball bounced straight up the wall in right center and apparently was grabbed by a fan. The umpires ruled — with Zito running with two outs — that Zito would have scored on the play.
And they were right. Zito would have scored if the ball had remained in play, but it’s a call that home teams don’t often get when a ball is interfered with. Marlins manager Mike Redmond argued the call and was tossed.
After that ground-rule double by Blanco, the next 15 Giants were retired in order. No baserunners in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings. It wasn’t until Joaquin Arias got a two-out bloop single to right in the 10th that the string was broken.
Thanks to some good work by Zito and the bullpen, the Giants were allowed to stay alive into the 11th inning.
The Marlins were shut out for 10 consecutive innings after Ed Lucas’ first-inning home run.
So the Giants won a game the old Giants’ way. With good pitching and just enough offense.
In the 11th, Blanco led off by beating out in infield single. Marco Scutaro bunted him to second. The Marlins surprisingly pitched to Buster Posey, who bounced a ball up the middle that the second baseman was unable to field cleanly and Buster beat it out for another infield single.
After Hunter Pence was walked, Sanchez dropped a flare down the left-field line for the winner.
Whew. And Fish streak is over.
You remember back in the spring of 2011 when Tim Lincecum’s steady diet of double-doubles from In-N-Out was all anyone could talk about?
Well, The Freak has changed his ways and now eats a more healthy diet as he tries to recapture his former Cy Young form.
Lincecum appeared to be closer to his old form as he held the Marlins to one hit through five innings. But in the end, those old In-N-Out burgers came back to bit Timmy on Friday night.
Miami’s Marcell Ozuna delivered a game-tying infield single off Lincecum in the sixth and later drove home the go-ahead run with another hit in the eighth as the Marlins beat the Giants 6-3 on Friday.
The win was inexplicably the Marlins’ ninth in a row at AT&T Park.
Just as surprising was Ozuna’s pre-game meal.
Before batting practice the Marlins rookie downed three In-N-Out cheeseburger and three cookies, although some Miami teammates told a different story.
“My teammates say five (burgers),” Ozuna said. “Just three cheeseburgers and three cookies — 3 for 3. That’s a good deal.”
Ozuna, who delivered a clutch two-run pinch-hit single in Thursday’s win, also make a big defensive play when he threw out Andres Torres trying to stretch a double into a triple in the sixth inning.
Ozuna spoiled another solid start from Lincecum, who sports a June ERA of 2.92. Lincecum also recorded his second career triple two batters after Torres was thrown out at third base.
“It’s about spotting the ball,” he said. “That can be game to game, whether or not you feel you need to dig deeper. Today, pitches were coming out with that extra oomph.”
The San Francisco Giants took another injury hit on Tuesday when they placed third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list.
There was a little bit of confusion over the nature of the injury. Giants CEO Larry Baer said on Monday it was a hairline fracture in his foot. The Giants corrected that on Tuesday, saying that the MRI revealed a previous hairline fractured that had healed. The team says the nature of the injury is a strained tendon in his foot.
Sandoval hurt his foot back in late May and aggravated it on Friday. The Giants feel that two weeks off is the only way for Sandoval to heal and expect him back with the team on June 24 when his 15 days are up.
Because of the shortest possible DL stint, the Giants are going to fill Sandoval’s vacancy with a combination of Joaquin Arias taking over the starting role at third base and Tony Abreu and Nick Noonan as backups. Noonan was recalled from Triple-A Fresno after only playing one game for the Grizzlies after his recent demotion.
“With (Arias) and Noonan and Abreu, we can ham-and-egg this until we get Pablo back,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
When asked to comment, Sandoval said “Mmmmm, jamon y huevos.”
OK, OK, we like to have fun with the Sandoval’s weight, but the Giants say there is no way of telling if the Panda’s girth had anything to do with the injury.
But the Giants did want Sandoval to work on his conditioning during his DL stint. Why? Well, obviously Sandoval’s fitness has been a problem since spring training. Unlike previous offseasons, Sandoval didn’t spend time last winter trying to shed pounds.
Plus, he’s put on weight during his previous stints on the DL. He added pounds when he broke his hamate bone in one hand in 2011, when broke his OTHER hamate bone in 2012, when he pulled his hamstring in 2012.
In the meantime, the Giants will turn to Arias. Arias did a nice job filling in for Sandoval last season, which earned him a spot on the team all the way through the postseason.
He has not done much this season, hitting .220. But he also has been limited to 10 starts. He got off to a very cold start, but is hitting .276 over the past four weeks.
There has been some chatter about the Giants bringing up another third baseman to replace Sandoval’s bat, but there really aren’t any plausible options.
I saw someone mention Adam Duvall, who is playing third base at Double-A Richmond. But he’s only played 27 games above Class A, and those all came this year as Duvall missed time this season with an injury.
San Francisco Giants fans should be ashamed.
The first results of All-Star voting was released Tuesday and two Giants — catcher Buster Posey and third baseman Pablo Sandoval — lead their position in NL voting.
After last season, when the Giants had three players voted as NL All-Star starters and several other less-than-deserving players finish high at their position in the voting, the first release of numbers may be a surprise.
Only two Giants lead their positions? Well, actually, several Giants are faring well in early voting in 2013. Three players — Marco Scutaro, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt — are second at their position. Hunter Pence is sixth among outfielders.
Buster Posey is the leading vote-getter among NL players, by almost 100,000 votes over Atlanta’s B.J. Upton.
Generally, the biggest movement in vote totals comes in the final week of ballotting. But so far in the early going, the Giants are in good position.
Here are the leaders at each position and where the Giants currently stand.
1. Buster Posey, Giants, 1,275,956
2. Yadier Molina, Cardinals 938,911
1. Joey Votto, Reds, 1, 044,742
2. Brandon Belt, Giants, 513,371
1. Brandon Phillips, Reds, 1,019,240
2. Marco Scutaro, Giants, 801,754
1. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies, 1,025,844
2. Brandon Crawford, Giants, 668,140
1. Pablo Sandoval, Giants, 1,094,475
2. David Wright, Mets, 967,299
1. Justin Upton, Braves, 1,184,249
2. Bryce Harper, Nationals, 1,182,532
3. Ryan Braun, Brewers, 945,665
6, Hunter Pence, Giants, 624,972
8, Angel Pagan, Giants, 572,400
11. Gregor Blanco, Giants, 475,662
We’ve been busy here at MoreSplashHits over the past two weeks, so we haven’t been blogging much.
But the last time we posted on the blog we discussed options to replace Ryan Vogelsong in the rotation.
For those of you missed it, our conclusion was Chad Gaudin was the best option.
Bruce Bochy decided to go with Mike Kickham in his major league debut last Tuesday against the A’s.
And as you’ll recall, it didn’t go so well. And that shouldn’t be a big surprise. Making the adjustment from Triple-A to the big leagues is not easy for pitchers.
Mistakes become home runs in the big leagues. That isn’t always the case in the minors. In the minors, you’ll see more hitters who will help you out of a jam than in the bigs.
Those two lessons were taught to Kickham in his start on Tuesday, and they were the reasons he could not make it out of the third inning. After his one start, Kickham was sent back to Triple-A and he’ ll make a start for Fresno on Monday. It’s worth keeping an eye on him. We think he’ll be back with the big club soon as the need arises.
After Kickham exited on Tuesday, who came in to carry the pitching load? Chad Gaudin.
While Gaudin hadn’t started a game since 2008, his work in the bullpen this season in long relief made him seem like the best option. The Giants have a lot of good relievers in Fresno, and it seemed like the best move to start Gaudin and call up someone from Fresno to fill his void in the bullpen.
The Giants went with their Plan A (Kickham) and it didn’t work. They went with Plan B (Gaudin) on Sunday, and it did work.
No surprise to us.
Gaudin pitched six solid innings, giving up only a two-run home run to David Freese in the fourth inning, in a 4-2 win over the Cardinals.
Sunday’s performance earned Gauin another start on Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s a decision that’s a little odd, since the Giants have three days off over the next eight days, meaning the Giants don’t need a No. 5 starter until June 15.
By pitching him on Sunday, it seems that Bochy intends to throw Gaudin in the No. 5 spot all month. On June 11, the Giants begin a stretch in which they play 16 games in 16 days, a stretch in which Gaudin would make three starts.
So while we like the Giants’ decision to go with Gaudin in the rotation, we question the decision to not use the off days to skip his spot in the rotation.
Hopefully that decision won’t come back to bite Bochy, too.