Notes: Abreu hopes history repeats
Final Vote winner in '04 seeks another trip to All-Star Game
PHILADELPHIA -- Bobby Abreu will need some help if he is to be selected to his third consecutive All-Star Game.Then again, he's needed help before, and gotten it. Abreu is one of five National Leaguers vying for the Final Vote spot on Houston manager Phil Garner's roster for the July 11 Midsummer Classic in Pittsburgh. Voting ends on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET. The Phils right fielder made the All-Star team via the Final Vote in 2004. And this season, Abreu has plenty of credentials to earn the final spot. He leads the Major Leagues with 77 walks and is tops in the National League with his .444 on-base percentage entering Tuesday's games. "I think I'm having a good season so far," Abreu said. "I'll have a couple of days to see if I make it." Other candidates for the last spot include Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra, Brewers pitcher Chris Capuano, Padres pitcher Chris Young and Mets closer Billy Wagner. Now in its fifth year, the Monster 2006 All-Star Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Chevrolet, and continues until Thursday. The winners will be announced on ESPN and MLB.com shortly thereafter.
There are two ways for fans to vote for the 2006 All-Star Final Vote -- online now at MLB.com, or on-the-go from their cell phones. Fans can also text the word "VOTE" to 36197 to receive the All-Star Final Vote Candidates sent to your phone. To vote for a specific player, simply reply with your choice. For $.30 per text message vote, fans will have the freedom to vote from wherever they are.
Fans can get the mobile ballot now. In Canada, fans should text the word "VOTE" to 28776. The fun doesn't end there, however. Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the 77th All-Star Game via the Monster 2006 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com.
The All-Star Game, to be held at Pittsburgh's PNC Park on Tuesday, July 11, at 8 p.m. ET, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will provide exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.
Two up, one down, one out: The Phillies made a pair of roster moves before Tuesday's game against San Diego.Pitcher Adam Bernero, who allowed eight runs in two innings on June 30 in Toronto, was designated for assignment. In his place, the Phillies brought up outfielder Chris Roberson, who has been back and forth between Scranton and Philadelphia all season. He has appeared in 10 games in the Majors, going 1-for-16 (.063). In addition, Sal Fasano, who became the starting catcher when Mike Lieberthal went on the disabled list, went on the shelf himself with inflamation in his left knee. Fasano was forced to leave Sunday's game in Toronto. The injury leaves Chris Coste and Carlos Ruiz, who was called up from Scranton to take Fasano's spot, as the platoon behind the plate. Neither started the season in the Major Leagues. Ruiz hit just .143 in his first stint with the Major League club. "I think he definitely pressed a little bit at the plate," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think if he relaxes a little bit at the plate, he could be a different hitter." Late bloomers: When the Phillies lost their first two games of the series in Baltimore and Toronto, it was nothing new. And when they won the finale of both three-game sets, again, nothing new. All season, the Phils have demonstrated a need to get a few cracks at a team before they find a way to win. Over their first 27 series, the Phils are 17-10 in series finales (second best in the National League) and 9-18 in series openers (third worst in the NL). The eight-game difference ties them with Houston and Washington for the widest margin after 27 series in the National League. Philadelphia has lost the first two games in 11 of its 21 three-game series. Seven of those 11 times, the club has avoided being swept. "I'd like to see us get better in that first game," Manuel said. "That would give us a chance of winning two or three instead of winning just one. "I think it's a coincidence. We don't necessarily like that, but that's just how it happens." Philling in: Jon Lieber is expected to return to the Phillies' rotation on Friday against Pittsburgh at Citizens Bank Park. ... All-Star starter Chase Utley singled in the first inning of Tuesday's game to extend his hitting streak to 10. ... The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Phillies agreed to terms with first-round draft pick Kyle Drabek. An announcement is expected on Wednesday. ... Righty Gavin Floyd allowed seven runs in six innings for Scranton on Monday, raising his Triple-A ERA to 5.87 in six starts. Up next: The Phillies take on the Padres in the middle game of the three-game set on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Rookie right-hander Scott Mathieson makes hs third start for the Phillies, looking for his first win. He opposes righty Jake Peavy, who is continuing his comeback from shoulder tendinitis.
Zachary Levine is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.