The Arizona Diamondbacks unlikely have a starter among National League position players.
When it comes to fan recognition in All-Star balloting, numbers and reputation remain of little consequence. Just ask manager Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks when this comes down to acknowledgment of his players.
Despite another stellar season, first baseball Paul Goldschmidt appears to have little chance to start for the National League in next month’s All-Star game in Miami. The latest fan numbers were released Monday and Goldschmidt trials Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals by over 500,000 votes. As of Monday, Zimmerman had 1,728,607 and Goldschmidt had 1,200,995. Behind Zimmerman, Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs gathered 1,601,245 votes.
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Coming into Monday’s game with the Philadelphia Phillies in Chase Field, Goldschmidt was hitting .332 with 19 doubles, 18 homers and a National League-leading 65 RBIs. The case for Zimmerman to start is equally compelling. Coming into Monday’s game with the Chicago Cubs, Zimmerman leads the majors with a .350 batting average and in the top three in slugging and on-base-percentage.
While the final fan voting will close this Thursday, Lovullo was quick to point out to Venom Strikes the continuing value of Goldschmidt.
"“Paul Goldschmidt is one of the most complete players I’ve ever been around,” he said. “I would put him up there with the elite players in this game. Besides (Goldschmidt), there are several on our team which deserve consideration. Without a number of players, we would not have reached this level.”"
Both third baseman Jake Lamb and shortstop Chris Owings are among the top five vote getters in their position. However, each is fifth among the five listed, and given a little chance to move up in the balloting.
For Lamb, second in the National League behind teammate Goldschmidt for the RBI leadership, the native of Seattle has 720,560 votes. The National League third base race is the closest. Kris Bryant of the Cubs (1,978.692) maintains a slim lead over the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado (1,920,610).
At shortstop, Owings has gathered 676,666, but that is far behind leader Zack Cozart of the Cincinnati Reds (1,915,806).
Overall, Lovullo told Venom Strikes the selection process is difficult and path to recognition tricky.
"“I had experience with the selection when I was in Boston,” he said. “(Red Sox manager) John Farrell had challenges in any selection. Look, guys will be eliminated. For the Arizona Diamondbacks, our record indicates we have a number of qualified players.”"
One player far from the thoughts of fans is Arizona outfielder David Peralta.
Coming into Monday’s game, Peralta was hitting .328 and that’s good enough for fifth best in the National League. Among the top 15 vote getters for National League outfielders, Peralta is not listed. At number 15, Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies (518,241) is far behind Bryce Harper of the Nationals (3,617,444), the leading vote-getter among the fans.
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Still, Peralta could have an opportunity to join the National League squad. That would come next week when fans chose, among five players, one additional to be added.