Chase Utley leads all NL second basemen after the first round of ballots for the All Star Game. Following a scorching April and in the midst of a solid May, Utley is more than deserving. But can the same be said about any other Phillies?
Corey and I talked about this a few weeks back on Phillies Nation TV and there’s no clear-cut answer.
Jonathan Papelbon’s season has been impressive following a rocky start in Texas. His 13 saves are 7th best in the NL and his 1.86 ERA is 5th among RP’s that have at least five saves. While his numbers certainly cannot be overlooked, there is a bevy of relievers who could be picked.
Huston Street could be the Padres lone selection. He has 15 saves and just six walks in 20 innings. Rafael Soriano has a miniscule 0.86 ERA and a WHIP below one. Francisco Rodriguez has had a rebirth in Milwaukee. Steve Cishek plays in relative anonymity in Miami, but has struck out 27 and walked only six. Also, Craig Kimbrel is a candidate every year. Even Jonathan Broxton has been exceptional, fired filling in for an injured Aroldis Chapman, then sliding into late-inning work, which still counts in the eyes of those who make the decisions.
At shortstop, Jimmy Rollins has a solid chance of making the team for the first time since 2005. The crop of shortstops in the NL in underwhelming this season, sans Troy Tulowitzki, so this is certainly possible. Among qualifiers at that position, J-Roll ranks 2nd in OPS. However, he’ll have to fend off Jhonny Peralta, Hanley Ramirez, and Starlin Castro.
Carlos Ruiz is the final Phillies who has a real opportunity to play at Target Field this year. His underrated presence at the plate should not be overlooked the roster makers. Among qualified catchers, Ruiz ranks 6th in the majors with a 1.0 WAR. His .387 OBP ranks 2nd.
While it’s relatively clear Utley is headed to Minnesota, who goes with him is not.