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Aramis Ramirez expected to replace Placido Polanco on All-Star team

San Francisco Giants v Chicago Cubs

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 29: Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Chicago Cubs smiles after getting the game-winning hit as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 9th inning against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field on June 29, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Giants 2-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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If Bruce Bochy was given the choice, he probably would have taken Aramis Ramirez in place of Chipper Jones when the latter was ruled out of the All-Star Game following knee surgery.

It wasn’t Bochy’s choice, though, and Scott Rolen, who finished behind Jones in the players’ vote, was forced on him as Chipper’s replacement.

Now, with starting third baseman Placido Polanco out due to a back injury, Bochy will get to make the call and Ramirez is his likely pick, he told ESPN this afternoon.

Ramirez, who has been on fire for a few weeks now, is up to .302/.350/.503 with 15 homers and 50 RBI this season, compared to .244/.277/.403 with five homers and 35 RBI for Rolen. Since Ryan Zimmerman, David Wright and Pablo Sandoval have all missed big chunks of the first half, Ramirez is the obvious choice to receive the nod.

The only thing that might have stood in Ramirez’s way is Bochy’s fondness for his own third baseman, Sandoval. Sandoval has hit in 20 straight games and is at .305/.345/.505 for the season, so he there certainly would have been some justification for taking him over Rolen.