Philadelphia Phillies’ second baseman Chase Utley was the only member of the Phillies selected to the National League All-Star roster. The start at second base will be Chase’s sixth start at the position and his first since 2010. Utley did not play in that 2010 game because of thumb surgery shortly before the game.
Chronic knee injuries kept Chase Utley out for much of the 2011 and 2012 seasons and 2013 was a down year. Before Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Utley said “I always thought I had an opportunity to [make another All-Star team], but I needed to stay on the field.”
Utley has stayed on the field and got off to one of the hottest starts of his career. The last several weeks have seen Utley’s statistics come back to earth, but there’s no denying that second base is a position void of great talent in the National League. Utley is hitting .286 with 24 doubles, three triples, six home runs and 40 RBIs.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reported that only Mike Schmidt (nine) has been elected to an All-Star game more times in Phillies history. Two other second basemen in National League history have more All-Star selections, Ryne Sandberg (nine) and Joe Morgan (seven).
While Chase is under contract through 2015 with vesting options through 2018, there have already been questions about whether Utley will be a member of the Phillies much past the All-Star break. Numerous reports indicate that Utley has no desire to waive his no-trade clause, but there are a lot of teams – especially in the National League – who would see Chase as an immediate upgrade at the position. For the right team, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d changed his mind.
The final phase of All-Star voting will be the fan selection of the final member of each team. No Phillies are on the list for the National League. Make sure to tune in to the game to watch Utley represent the Phillies in 85th All-Star Game on July 15th at Target Field in Minneapolis.
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