(This post was written by occasional contributor Jeremy Powers.)
The Reds will compete in four more series before this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all-star weekend in Phoenix, Arizona. The Reds have been pushing for fans to vote up to 25 times at Reds.com, and the Redlegs may potentially have a few starters in this seasonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mid-summer classic.
Brandon Phillips continues to lead voting at second base. As of June 21 (the last time totals were announced), he had racked up 2,286,378 votes and leads Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks by a slight, but comfortable, margin that should have the Reds flashy second baseman starting at Chase Field on July 12.
Joey Votto remains in second place behind the CardinalsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ superstar, Albert Pujols. Behind Votto is Prince Fielder of the Brewers. A NL Central dominated race could come down to Votto and Fielder if PujolsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ forearm injury prevents him from participating. If Pujols cannot go then the Reds will have a solid opportunity to represent the right side of the infield.
Scott Rolen is not one of the two top vote getters at third base. Instead the Phillies’ Placido Polanco and the Braves veteran Chipper Jones lead the voting at the hot corner.
The player-of-the-month during May, Jay Bruce, is sixth in voting among NL outfielders. The candidates in the outfield include Ryan Braun of the Brewers, St. LouisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Lance Berkman, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers and Matt Holiday, who has missed part of the 2011-12 season on the DL but is batting .330.
Major League Baseball leaves pitchers off the ballot, but Bill Bray and Johnny Cueto may both have good arguments to be on the team. Starting on the DL has hampered CuetoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s win/loss record, but his ERA of 1.63 leads the big leagues. Bill Bray has appeared in 41 games for the Reds this season. Bray currently has 23 strikeouts/1.71 ERA/0.91 WHIP. Arthur Rhodes, now with the Texas Rangers, represented Cincinnati in the all-star game last year and Bray has similar, if not better, numbers than Rhodes had last year. If pitchers were on the ballot, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to think that Aroldis Chapman would garner votes despite his struggles and time in AAA due to his remarkable power and popularity.