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Writers Roundtable: How Many All Stars?

PHOTO: AP

PHOTO: AP

Which Phillie(s) should make the National League All-Star team?  How would you feel about Domonic Brown potentially participating in the 2013 Home Run Derby?  And lastly, do you have any problem with the Phillies organization asking fans to vote for ALL of the team’s position players, or with fans that vote only for Phillies players?

Eric Seidman: Cliff Lee and Domonic Brown should make the All-Star team from the Phillies, with Jonathan Papelbon being a potential selection as well, as the game means something and there are few closers better. A pitching staff with Chapman, Kimbrel and Pap at the back end would be awfully intimidating. I would have no issue with Brown participating in the home run derby, as my own studies have shown that there is no such thing as ‘the home run derby effect’. Though many Phillies fans will swear that the HRD messed up Bobby Abreu‘s swing, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that the derby really impacts player performance moving forward. My personal take on voting is to vote for whoever you want, with the current understanding that if the Phillies somehow made it to the World Series, the All Star Team would be better suited to provide home field advantage if other team’s players were on it.

Ian Riccaboni: There are three no-brainers and one fringe candidate right now, which is kind of strange for a team under .500 but speaks to how top-heavy the talent is. Cliff Lee is a true Cy Young candidate and should absolutely be in the All-Star game, as should closer Jonathan Papelbon. Dom Brown, the NL leader in HR, should be in the game as well. Finally, Kyle Kendrick is on the periphery but likely doesn’t get in. He’s 19th in ERA and 29th in FIP in the NL so he should be in the mix but ultimately shouldn’t get in.

Pat Gallen: I wonder if the Phillies record will keep them from sending more than one. As we know, Domonic Brown, Cliff Lee, and Jonathan Papelbon all deserve it. You could even make the case for Kyle Kendrick. But with a dearth of solid pitching in the NL, Pap and KK could be looking from the outside in. It could be three, but don’t be surprised if two, or even one Phillie, makes it. And think about if Chase Utley hadn’t gotten hurt. He may have been in the conversation, too.

Jay Floyd: I definitely think Domonic Brown should be an All-Star.  If only one guy represents the Phillies this year, it should be him, although Jonathan Papelbon and Cliff Lee have each posted worthy statistics as well.

Brown in the All-Star Home Run Derby could potentially be the most exciting thing about the three days of events there in New York for Phillies fans, as Papelbon or Lee facing American League opponents for one, two or three outs could go by in the blink of an eye and Brown making the team as a reserve might only result in one plate appearance in the Mid-summer Classic that would also fly by in a flash.  Steady focus in the Derby on one of the game’s emerging sluggers, despite any concern of negative impact on his swing after the contest, would almost certainly be the most enjoyable part of the All-Star events for Phillie fans.

Kenny Ayres: Domonic Brown and Cliff Lee have to be shoe-ins for the All-Star Game. Obviously there is a slim chance Brown will make it as a starter because he only just burst onto the national scene and the starting vote comes from fans, but as long as he doesn’t fall off the face of the earth in the next month he will be a manager selection. Lee is Lee, and has been just about the best pitcher in baseball since last August. Enough said. I could also see Papelbon and Kendrick having shots at making the team, but if Lee and Brown go I think it would come down to replacements for injuries and such for Kendrick and Papelbon to make it. I would love to see Brown in the home run derby this year. We’ve seen first hand from Ryan Howard in 2006 and 2007 that it doesn’t hurt our swing, and Brown is one of those guys like Justin Upton and Giancarlo Stanton who is the perfect strong, majestic home run hitter for the derby. As for All-Star balloting, I think the best players in the first half at each position should start, and that it should not come down to who is more popular with the fans. What does it say when you have a .200 hitter like Dan Uggla starting an All-Star Game?

Alex Lee:  Domonic Brown and Cliff Lee are the obvious selections here, and both are definitely deserving of the honor.  Jonathan Papelbon is one of a number of closers who have the stats to make the cut, but with the Phillies below .500, I can’t see him being selected.  I am all for Dom participating in the HR Derby.  His emergence probably makes him the face of the next era of Phillies baseball.  Why not let the nation meet him?  As for the voting, I say fans should vote for whoever they want.  It’s their commitment (and money) that stuffs the ballot boxes at the games and online.

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