WASHINGTON -- Catcher Ivan Rodriguez has given Nationals fans a lot to cheer about this season.
Known affectionately as Pudge, Rodriguez, 38, was hitting .325 (40-for-123) with one home run and 16 RBIs in 35 games for the Nationals before going on the disabled list Monday because of a lower back strain.
Defensively, Rodriguez has had a hand in cultivating a pitching staff that has reduced its ERA by 0.45 runs compared with last season.
No wonder Rodriguez ranks third among NL catchers behind Yadier Molina and Carlos Ruiz in the All-Star balloting, with 247,998 votes. Rodriguez is also ahead of Brian McCann and Russell Martin, who rank fourth and fifth respectively in the voting.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites using the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint until July 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Sprint subscribers can now vote on the go with select Sprint devices. They can learn more about how to vote on their smart phones at MLB.com/Sprint.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2010 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS on July 4. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.