Help the Braves make it to Motown
Chipper, Giles are Atlanta's best bets to be voted in as starters
As balloting for this year's All-Star Game continues, it's becoming evident all of the Braves' players are going to need a major late push to earn one of the starting spots on the National League team.
While Marcus Giles has gotten plenty of attention the past two seasons, he now finds himself ranked fifth in the balloting among NL second basemen. Giles' offensive numbers are down this year, but he's still regarded as one of the game's top young middle infielders.
Leading the NL second basemen is the Dodgers' Jeff Kent, who has 774,468 votes. His nearest competitor, the Cardinals' Mark Grudzielanek, has 435,469. Giles, who was voted the NL's starting second baseman in 2003, has 303,062 votes.
Giles' double-play partner, Rafael Furcal, ranks fifth in the balloting among NL shortstops with 335,326 votes. Furcal, who ranked third last week, now trails frontrunner Cesar Izturis of the Dodgers by 134,641 votes.
Andruw Jones, who is bidding to participate in his fourth All-Star Game, fell from seventh to ninth among NL outfielders. He has 358,581 votes. Leading that group are the Mets' Carlos Beltran, the Cardinals' Jim Edmonds and the Phillies' Bobby Abreu.
Chipper Jones, who was placed on the disabled list last week and likely won't be healthy by the July 12 Midsummer Classic, ranked third among NL third basemen with 478,449 votes. Johnny Estrada, the Braves' lone All-Star representative last year at Minute Maid Park in Houston, fell out of the top five among NL catchers this week.
Fans can cast their votes up to 25 times with the Ameriquest All-Star Online Ballot, which is available exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 club sites. Online balloting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on June 30.
Ballots also are being punched at each Major League ballpark. They will be available at Turner Field through the June 24 game against the Orioles.
From July 3-6, fans will once again be able to participate in the Ameriquest All-Star Final Vote, which determines the final position player for each League's 32-man roster.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.