Results tagged ‘ Final Vote ’

Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann named to 2014 NL All-Star team

Infielder Anthony Rendon part of 2014 Final Vote 

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by Amanda Comak

Atlanta Braves v Washington NationalsOn the heels of his finest Major League season, Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann is heading back to the All-Star game.

The Nationals’ 19-game winner from a year ago, who is 6-4 with a 2.79 ERA in 18 2014 starts, was named to the National League All-Star team for the second consecutive season on Sunday evening. He was the Nationals’ lone selection.

Infielder Anthony Rendon, who has split his time this year between second and third base, was named to the Final Vote. Fans can vote through Thursday to help Rendon join Zimmermann in Minneapolis.

“It means a lot,” Zimmermann said. “It’s a huge honor. I’m excited. I wouldn’t be going if it wasn’t for those guys playing defense behind me every day, and the catchers calling the pitches. I throw the ball. I try to throw strikes and let the guys put it in play. As much as it’s me going, it’s actually all these guys, too.”​

“I’m here to throw 200 innings, that’s my biggest goal,” the usually-understated Zimmermann added. “To go deep into ballgames and give these guys a chance to win the game. You do that stuff, I guess you become an All-Star. That’s what’s happened the last couple years.”

For Zimmermann, the trip back to the game’s biggest showcase will mark another reminder that he has cemented himself amongst the best in the game.

The selection comes at a time in which Zimmermann may be pitching as well as he has all season. In seven starts before being named to the team, Zimmermann — who opened the month of June with 19 consecutive scoreless innings — posted 1.26 ERA.

Seven years after the Nationals’ plucked him out of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and five years removed from the Tommy John surgery that rebuilt his elbow, the right-hander was a chosen by NL Manager Mike Matheny to be a part of the 2014 squad.

And this time, he’ll be put on that stage a mere three hours from his hometown of Auburndale, Wisc. This year, too, the hope is that the Nationals’ winningest pitcher will get a chance to participate. A lingering neck issue held him out of last year’s game at Citi Field, though he went and enjoyed the All-Star festivities in New York.

“You want to pitch in it,” Zimmermann said. “Last year, being the first time, I wanted to, but this year it’s going to be good. It’s about three hours from home. I’m sure I’ll have a decent amount of people coming over. I think it’s going to be fun.”

For Rendon, the Nationals’ infielder is following up his strong rookie campaign with a breakout season. Shifting seamlessly between second (17 starts) and third base (65 starts), depending on need, Rendon is hitting .282 (94-for-333) with 21 doubles, five triples, a career-high 12 home runs and 50 RBI in 83 games.

Rendon, 24, has excelled offensively — he ranks among the NL’s top 10 in runs (60), triples (5), RBI (50) and extra-base hits.

“It’d be pretty cool,” Rendon said of the possibility of being an All-Star. “I’m not trying to get my hopes up. I don’t let my highs get too high, my lows get too low. (There are) definitely a lot of guys who deserve it.”

Fans can vote for Rendon through Thursday at nationals.com/vote.

The Desi And D-Rob Alliance

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Washington and New York have a lot in common.

Where D.C. is the center of governmental power, New York is the hub of the financial world. The District, The Big Apple. Defending champions of the National League East, defending champions of the American League East.

So it’s only fitting for us to partner together for a common cause – to get our deserving candidates to the 2013 All-Star Game, which will, of course, be played in New York. Pooling our collective energy, we hope to land both Ian Desmond and David Robertson into the Midsummer Classic.

DesiDRob3We’ve already detailed for you the many reasons why Desmond should once again be an All-Star. Just as Desmond’s accomplishments have been at times overshadowed by his fellow teammates on the left side of the defense – Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman – so have Robertson’s. After all, it’s hard to be a relief pitcher in pinstripes not named Mariano Rivera.

But Robertson is 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA in 39 appearances this season. In 36.1 innings, he has allowed just 23 hits and three home runs while walking 12 and striking out 46.

And for everything these two do on the field, they are both some of the most active off the field in helping their communities as well. Though Desmond doesn’t advertise his charity work, he does, in fact, sit on the board of the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, and is one of the strongest forces behind turning the dream of the Academy into a reality. The Academy is set to open its doors for academic programming in the fall, with full baseball clinics beginning next spring.

But what’s the meaning behind Robertson’s #HighSocksForVotes? Well, High Socks For Hope, a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation, was founded by Robertson and his wife Erin after tornadoes ravaged David’s hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 2011. High Socks For Hope’s mission is to lend support to charities and organizations helping those affected by tragedies and to provide humanitarian services for individuals in need.

Of course, D.C. and New York have their differences, too, but those only make them stronger when united. The Nationals fan base is the youngest and one of the fastest-growing in baseball. The Yankees fan base is arguably the largest in the game, with the sport’s longest legacy of winning. Hopefully, by joining forces, we can get two great players – and great men – into the Midsummer Classic.

Vote #DesiIn13 at nationals.com/vote. And while you’re at it, make sure to mark your ballot #HighSocksForVotes too. You can also text N1 and A3 to 89269 to vote for Desmond and Robertson, respectively. Unlimited voting ends July 11 at 4PM ET.

The Case For Ian Desmond

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Here in Washington, we’re proud of our intelligent fan base. There are many bright people in our town, some who grew up with the game of baseball, some who have learned it on the fly over the last eight years. Regardless of which camp you fall into, we wouldn’t ask you to vote for something simply because we said so.

Enter, the Final Vote. You deserve a detailed, reasoned case for why Ian Desmond should represent the National League. That’s what we’re here today to give you.

To begin with, Desmond is the only Final Vote candidate who plays a premium defensive position. Everyone else on the list is either a corner outfielder or first baseman. Oh, and by the way, he plays it exceptionally well. Desmond’s 56-game error free streak at shortstop is the longest in baseball this year.

And despite that, he’s been a better hitter than anyone else on the list. This is not opinion – we’re saying this objectively. Take a deep breath, non-believers:

Desmond's had 56 straight error-free games earlier this year.

Desmond’s had 56 straight error-free games earlier this year.

Home Runs

Ian Desmond 15

Hunter Pence 13

Adrian Gonzalez 13

Freddie Freeman 9

Yasiel Puig 8

Doubles

Ian Desmond 23

Hunter Pence 22

Adrian Gonzalez 19

Freddie Freeman 16

Yasiel Puig 8

Extra-Base Hits

Desmond's 40 extra-base hits tops all Major League shortstops.

Desmond’s 40 extra-base hits tops all Major League shortstops.

Ian Desmond 40

Hunter Pence 37

Adrian Gonzalez 32

Freddie Freeman 26

Yasiel Puig 17

Hits

Ian Desmond 92

Hunter Pence 91

Adrian Gonzalez 91

Freddie Freeman 87

Yasiel Puig 50

But hey, if you’ve been following the Nationals all year, you already know this. You also know that 10 of those 15 home runs have put the Nationals ahead in a game. An extra-inning, game-winning blast to the upper deck at Cincinnati in April here, an extra-inning grand slam in Philadelphia there. You aren’t surprised that his .284/.326/.506 line goes up to .319/.359/.514 with runners on base.

Perhaps you’re a sabermetrician, your analytical skills as sharp as any in your friend group. You rely on Wins Above Replacement to tell you a player’s overall value. Well, you know where this is going:

WAR

Ian Desmond 3.0

Hunter Pence 2.6

Yasiel Puig 2.0

Adrian Gonzalez 1.6

Freddie Freeman 1.4

Maybe you’re one of those who thinks Yasiel Puig deserves more consideration because of what he’s done in such a short period of time, for how phenomenal the start of his career has been. We hear you. And we offer you this. The numbers since Puig’s Major League career began on June 3, 2013:

With his rare blend of power and speed, Desmond is just one of two Major Leaguers with at least 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases.

With his rare blend of power and speed, Desmond is just one of two Major Leaguers with at least 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases.

Home Runs

Ian Desmond 8

Yasiel Puig 8

Adrian Gonzalez 6

Freddie Freeman 4

Hunter Pence 4

RBI

Ian Desmond 27

Freddie Freeman 20

Yasiel Puig 19

Hunter Pence 13

Adrian Gonzalez 12

Starting to get the idea? There are only two players in all of Major League Baseball with at least 15 homers and at least 10 stolen bases. One of them is Carlos Gonzalez, the number two National League outfield vote-getter, and a deserving All-Star. The other is Desmond.

There are 10 Major Leaguers with at least 40 extra-base hits. Only three of the 10 are not in the Midsummer Classic, only one of which who plays in the middle infield. Desmond, again.

He’s dynamic. He’s versatile. He’s tremendously talented and athletic. And he’s put together an excellent first half of the season, keeping the Nationals afloat until their lineup could return to full strength.

Make Ian Desmond the All-Star he rightfully deserves to be.

Vote #DesiIn13 by visiting nationals.com/vote or texting N1 to 89269

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