Results tagged ‘ All-Star Game ’
MLB just announced the top five players at every position, including the top 15 outfielders.
Brown is not among the top 15. I guess that isn’t a surprise. While Brown is hitting .329 with six doubles, two triples, 15 home runs, 36 RBIs and a 1.053 OPS since April 23, he only truly has gotten everybody’s attention in the last 10 games. He is hitting .447 (17-for-38) with one double, one triple, nine home runs, 17 RBIs and a 1.712 OPS in that stretch. Combine that late surge with lower attendance at Citizens Bank Park and Phillies fans not exactly excited about their team — thus they are not stuffing the ballot box like they have in the past — and Brown seems destined to the make the team as a reserve.
Chase Utley is the only Phillies player to be listed among the leaders, but he is a distant third among second basemen.
We’ve got a NL All-Star voting update.
Here it is:
- Albert Pujols, 1,006,149
- Ryan Howard, 532,729
- Chase Utley, 1,103,430
- Rickie Weeks, 261,591
- Jimmy Rollins, 548,629
- Hanley Ramirez, 526,890
- Placido Polanco, 500,293
- David Wright, 377,815
- Yadier Molina, 494,517
- Carlos Ruiz, 416,585
- Ryan Braun, 693,460
- Jayson Werth, 629,894
- Andre Ethier, 606,514
- Shane Victorino, 566,434
- Jayson Heyward, 550,147
- Matt Holliday, 467,697
- Matt Kemp, 394,579
- Raul Ibañez, 390,176
Phillies fans know how to punch ballots and work a computer.
MLB released its first NL All-Star voting update this afternoon, and the Phillies are well represented. Chase Utley (687,724) has a commanding lead over Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks, who is in second (169,941). Utley has more votes than anybody in the league at any position. That is not a surprise. Placido Polanco leads third baseman with 309,458 votes. Mets third baseman David Wright is second (236,387). Ryan Braun (423,834), Jayson Werth (365,402) and Shane Victorino (348,841) are the top three outfielders. Raul Ibanez is eighth (248,450).
Jimmy Rollins, who has spent most of the season on the DL, leads shortstops with 340,747 votes. Florida’s Hanley Ramirez is second with 309,244. Rollins held a lead at this point last year, but Ramirez ultimately won the vote.
St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina has 316,795 votes. He leads Carlos Ruiz, who is second with 259,227.
Albert Pujols (647,666) has a commanding lead over Ryan Howard, who is second (329,673).
I wrote last night that Werth deserved serious consideration for the spot, but I never thought it would happen. From what I understood, Manuel and the league would pick Beltran’s replacement. While Werth is hitting .268 with 20 homers, 54 RBIs and 12 stolen bases, I thought the league would steer Manuel in a different direction because the Phillies already have outfielders Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino on the NL roster. I figured Beltran’s replacement would come from a trio of Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (.328, 13 homers, 48 RBIs), Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp (.319, 10, 46, 19 stolen bases) and Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds (.262, 24, 62, 15 stolen bases).
Manuel had more pull than I thought.
The Phillies are sending five players to the All-Star Game: Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. The last time the Phillies sent five players to the All-Star Game was 1995, when they sent Darren Daulton, Lenny Dykstra, Tyler Green, Mickey Morandini and Heathcliff Slocumb. They also sent five players in 1976, 1979 and 1981.
The last time a team sent three outfielders to the All-Star Game? The 1995 Cleveland Indians, who sent Albert Belle, Kenny Lofton and Manny Ramirez.
This is Utley’s fourth consecutive All-Star appearance.
This is Ibanez’s first.
Still waiting on the reserves.
Update: Ryan Howard has been named a reserve. Charlie Manuel is bringing four first basemen to St. Louis: Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez and Howard.
Shane Victorino has been named to the Final Vote ballot, which means he can make the NL All-Star team.
His challengers are Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman, Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds, Giants first baseman Pablo Sandoval and Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.
In my opinion, it’s a two-man race between Victorino and Kemp. I just don’t see the fan support there for Guzman, Reynolds or Sandoval.
As manager of the National League All-Star team, he makes eight selections to the 33-player roster. And he made no bones before tonight’s game against the Braves that he is partial to his own players.
“I’ll be the first guy to tell you that,” he said. “Everything that I’ve gotten out of us winning … I’ve got a World Series ring, and everything I’ve got was because our guys played good and they won. If you want to call me a player’s manager, I think I am because I think the players definitely have everything to do with it. I think good players make a good manager. I think good players can play over some of the mistakes a manager can make.”
We know Raul Ibanez and Chase Utley will be starters at their respective positions. They have commanding leads in fan voting.
But which other Phillies could go?
“If you ask me who I would vote for or pick, anytime I could pick one of my players definitely I’m in favor of that,” Manuel said. “But at the same time, when you look at things, you have to be fair to the game and also the guy who is having a big year. That can be hard to because there are so many.”
I’ve heard some talk that Manuel should pick Cole Hamels (4-5, 4.98 ERA), Brad Lidge (0-3, 7.57 ERA and 14 saves) or Jamie Moyer (6-6, 6.05 ERA) for their contributions last season, when the Phillies won the World Series. I don’t expect that to happen at all. Manuel would love to pick a few Phillies, but it would be impossible to sell Hamels, Lidge or Moyer with home-field advantage in the World Series on the line.
So when then?
I think Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino are legitimate possibilities.
Howard is hitting .256 with 20 home runs and 60 RBIs. He is tied for second in the NL with 41 extra-base hits. He is third in RBIs and go-ahead RBIs (19) and tied for third in game-winning RBIs (nine). He is fifth in home runs. He is from St. Louis, where the All-Star Game will be played July 14. He has been one of baseball’s best run producers in recent seasons. He has meant the world to Manuel in the middle of his lineup.
But Howard has some stiff competition at first base. Albert Pujols (.337, 30 homers and 77 RBIs) will be the starter. Prince Fielder (.306, 20, 74) has to go. Adrian Gonzalez (.268, 24, 48) and Todd Helton (.312, 9, 53) are legitimate candidates. There are others, too. There are only so many first basemen Manuel can take, which puts Howard in a numbers crunch. It will be interesting to see which way Manuel goes.
Victorino is hitting .295 with five homers, 34 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. He is tied for second in triples (five), tied for fourth in runs (52) and tied for ninth in hits (89) and stolen bases. Obviously, there are plenty of outfielders with better power numbers than Victorino, but Victorino is not a power hitter. He is a speed guy, who plays great defense and can hit. He might be an easier case for Manuel to make.
Third baseman Pedro Feliz has had a nice season, but he also appears to be in a numbers crunch with David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, Casey Blake and others.
Jimmy Rollins snapped his career-worst 0-for-28 slump with a single to right field in the third inning. Rollins also singled in the fifth.