St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal (15) hits a two run RBI single in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
(The Chirp) -- MLB.com's Joey Nowak, just posted the latest results on the race to see who will start for the National League in this year's All-Star Game in Kansas City.
And making a big jump is Cardinal Rafael Furcal who has moved into the lead over Troy Tulowitzki in the close race at the shortstop position.
Furcal, who trailed Tulowitzki by a little more than 17,000 votes last week, leads the Rockies shortstop by more than 94,000 votes. Tulowitzki has been sidelined by injury since May 30, while Furcal has helped lead the defending World Series champs.
And that's not the only lead change announced this week. According to Nowack, Giants' Melky Cabrera leap-frogged Ryan Braun of the Brewers to take over the third starting outfield spot behind the Dodgers' Matt Kemp and the Cardinals' Carlos Beltran this week. Meanwhile, Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal overtook the top spot at his position, ahead of the injured Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies.
All other projected starters for the NL squad remain the same in the weeks leading up to the 83rd All-Star Game on July 10 in Kansas City. The American League update was released on Monday, and Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton continues to pace all Major Leaguers with 5,414,880 votes.
Kemp (3,322,009) is the top vote-getter in the NL, just ahead of first-base leader Joey Votto of the Reds (3,151,032).
Fans can submit up to 25 ballots per email address with the All-Star Game Online Ballot, through June 28 exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 club sites, wired or mobile. Once that voting ends, then comes the always frenetic finish with the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote from July 1-5 and the annual MVP vote during the All-Star Game to help decide who wins the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award.
Votto, the league leader in batting average, maintained his sizable cushion in the race for the first-base starting spot, ahead of Atlanta's Freddie Freeman (1,193,455). Meanwhile, Freeman's teammate, Dan Uggla (2,054,920), remains in the lead for the second-base spot ahead of Votto's teammate Brandon Phillips (1,272,389).
David Wright of the Mets (leading San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval by 364,891 votes) and Buster Posey of the Giants (ahead of St. Louis' Yadier Molina by just 153,438) remain the front-runners in the third base and catching polls, respectively.
Braun, the 2011 NL Most Valuable Player, remains well in the hunt for the final outfield spot, just 25,182 votes behind Cabrera. Andre Ethier of the Dodgers is fifth, but he is a little more than 600,000 behind Braun.
The MLB All-Star balloting program last year produced a record-shattering total of 32.5 million ballots cast. More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots were distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks.
When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes on Friday, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively at MLB.com until 11:59 p.m. ET on June 28.
Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2012 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events.
The 2012 rosters will be unveiled July 1 on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell, televised nationally on TBS. The AL All-Star team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL squad will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads -- 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- will be determined through a combination of Player Ballot choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers -- AL skipper Ron Washington of the Rangers and NL manager Tony La Russa -- in conjunction with MLB.