The Washington Times - May 26, 2009, 06:54PM

The first round of balloting for this year’s All-Star Game has been revealed, and Ryan Zimmerman finds himself fourth among National League third basemen.

Buoyed by the attention he received for his 30-game hitting streak, Zimmerman ranks among the top five at his position for the first time in his career. Statistically speaking, Zimmerman and the Mets’ David Wright should probably be 1-2 in some order. But as we all know, this isn’t just about stats. It’s a popularity contest. And even more than that, it’s a contest to see what teams can encourage their fans to submit as many ballots as allowed. For evidence of that, check out the top five vote-getters at third base:


  1. David Wright, NYM           454,449
  2. Bill Hall, MIL                     371,950
  3. Chipper Jones, ATL         281,540
  4. Ryan Zimmerman, WAS  272,744
  5. Aramis Ramirez, CHC     260,529

Remember that song on Sesame Street that went “One of these things is not like the other?” How in the world is Bill Hall (current batting .234 with a .297 OBP) in second place? Well, take a look at the other positions around the diamond, and you realize that no Brewers player is currently lower than second place. That includes second baseman Rickie Weeks (who is out for the season with a wrist injury) and catcher Jason Kendall (currently batting .217).

Methinks something fishy is going on in Milwaukee.

In other pregame Nats news…

— Mike MacDougal has exercised the “out” clause in his contract and has left Class AAA Syracuse. The Nationals now have 48 hours to decide whether to promote the reliever or not. The former Royals and White Sox right-hander has a 1.23 ERA and two saves in seven appearances and is throwing the ball well. I have a hunch he’ll be wearing a Nationals uniform soon.

— Scott Olsen has begun a throwing program in Viera, Fla., throwing from 60 feet with no shoulder pain. There is, however, no timetable for his return from the DL.

— Jesus Flores went 2-for-3 and threw out a basestealer last night for Harrisburg. The plan is for him to come off the DL in time for this weekend’s series in Philadelphia.

— Daniel Cabrera remains on the Nats’ 25-man roster and in the bullpen. For now. I think this has become a day-to-day thing.