Raul Ibanez continues his surge in National League All-Star balloting.
Ibanez has moved from sixth to second and now to the top spot among NL outfielders in voting released yesterday. Ibanez has 1,415,493 votes to move ahead of Milwaukee's Ryan Braun (1,269,033). The Mets' Carlos Beltran (1,092,516) is in the final starting spot for the July 14 game in St. Louis. The Cubs' Alfonso Soriano has dropped to fourth with 1,078,904 votes.
Ibanez is not the only Phillie making a move to join the starting lineup. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins is the leading vote-getter at his position, sliding past Florida's Hanley Ramirez. Rollins has 936,377 votes to 871,917 for Ramirez, who led last week.
Another surging Phillie is first baseman Ryan Howard, now in second place with 876,149 votes, moving ahead of Milwaukee's Prince Fielder. Howard, however, has a long way to go if he wants to start in his hometown. The Cardinals' Albert Pujols leads all players on the ballot with 1,751,945 votes.
Pujols' total is about 2,000 ahead of Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, who is well ahead of the competition at his position.