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Williams: LaRoche deserves All-Star nod

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CHICAGO -- Adam LaRoche is putting together an All-Star-caliber year, but faces an uphill battle at a strong position.

As of the latest balloting update, LaRoche sits outside the top five vote-getters among National League first basemen. Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt, who was second among NL players at the position with a .916 OPS and 15 home runs entering Saturday, leads the way with nearly two million votes.

LaRoche sits just behind Goldschmidt with a .913 OPS and he cranked his 10th homer Friday, yet trails even Milwaukee's Mark Reynolds, who's hit just .218.

LaRoche could have even gaudier stats if not for a strained right quadriceps muscle that has limited him to 62 games. Goldschmidt, meanwhile, has played 81.

"He has made a great case [to be on the All-Star team]," manager Matt Williams said. "Any time you miss time [because of an injury], it's difficult. … He has played really well."

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.

Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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