Phillies send three to the Midsummer Classic
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
PITTSBURGH — Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has been a National League All-Star starter since 2006.
He is again in 2010, although he will not play.
Utley had surgery Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb, and will miss approximately eight weeks. But the Phillies will be represented in Anaheim on July 13 without Utley. Phillies ace Roy Halladay and first baseman Ryan Howard also made the team.
Utley beat Atlanta Braves second baseman Martin Prado by a wide margin to win the fan vote. He would have become the first NL player to start in five consecutive All-Star Games since Mike Piazza started six consecutive games 1994-99.
No NL second baseman has started five consecutive All-Star Games since Ryne Sandberg started eight straight from 1986-93.
Utley’s offensive numbers are down compared to seasons past, but he still ranked amongst the best second basemen in the league. He entered the weekend ranked first in on-base percentage (.385); third in RBIs (37); fourth in home runs (11); and fifth in hitting (.278), slugging percentage (.468) and runs (49).
But there is no question Utley has been the most dominant second baseman in baseball since he became an everyday player in 2005. He leads all second basemen since that time in runs (594), home runs (154), RBIs (534), walks (369), on-base percentage (.390) and slugging percentage (.532); and second in hits (936).
Utley’s five All-Star selections are seven fewer than Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt, who made 12 All-Star teams, which is the franchise record.
Halladay is 9-7 with a 2.42 ERA. The Phillies have scored just 12 runs for him in his seven losses. He ranks sixth in the league in ERA and first with six complete games. He threw a perfect game May 29 against Florida.
Howard is fourth in the league with 54 RBIs. He is 10th in homers (15), 14th in slugging percentage (.506), 18th in average (.296) and 20th in OPS (.859).
Congrats to both Howard and Halladay on making the team, and sad that while he was elected onto the team Utley won’t be able to play because of his bad thumb. Hopefully, the NL All-Stars will win it this time.