Desmond loses NL Final Vote

PHILADELPHIA - Droves of Nationals fans went online and took to Twitter to support shortstop Ian Desmond in the National League All-Star Final Vote competition, but it wasn’t enough.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman won the NL Final Vote, receiving a record 19.7 million votes and securing the final spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Desmond finished fourth, behind Freeman, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and Giants outfielder Hunter Pence. Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez finished in fifth place.

The final totals were released just after manager Davey Johnson’s pregame session with reporters today, but it was clear even before then that Desmond would not be winning the vote for the final spot.

“That’s a shame,” Johnson said, “because he’s the best shortstop in either league. ... From a baseball standpoint, I don’t know anybody in baseball that I’d take over him. Defensively or offensively. He made it last year, (but) he couldn’t attend because of injuries. He should’ve made it this year.”

Desmond is tied with Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy for the most homers in the majors among big league shortstops (15). He paces all major league shortstops in slugging percentage (.496) and is second in OPS (.822).

He could still end up making the All-Star team if Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki needs to drop out due to broken ribs or if another player drops out. Tulowitzki has said that if he’s able to return to the Rockies before the All-Star break, he’ll play in the Midsummer Classic, but he’s not been activated from the DL as of yet.

According to reports from the West Coast, the Rockies had planned to activate Tulowitzki prior to today’s game, but they’ve now pushed that back a bit.

If Desmond ends up not making the All-Star team, the positive side of things will be that he’ll get a chance to rest over the break after playing in 90 of the Nats’ 91 games to this point.

“Yeah, I’m happy about that, because I’m not resting him,” Johnson said. “I think he’s been in all but one game and I think about resting him, but then I said, ‘No, I can’t afford to do that.’ So I’m glad he’s going to get some time off.”

There’s also the chance that other Nationals - like Stephen Strasburg or Rafael Soriano - end up making the NL All-Star team, if a player drops out due to injury.

Johnson said he plans to speak to Giants manager Bruce Bochy over the next few days, and he’ll find out whether any more Nats will be joining Bryce Harper, Jordan Zimmermann, Johnson and trainer Lee Kuntz in the NL All-Star dugout.

“I’m gonna call to talk to him,” Johnson said. “And I’ll get the skinny.”

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