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MLB Team Report - Philadelphia Phillies - INSIDE PITCH
MIAMI -- Second baseman Chase Utley is the likely choice to represent the Philadelphia Phillies at this year's All-Star Game.
As bad as the Phillies have played in the first half -- they are tied for last place in the National League East and are down a whopping 14,000 fans per game at their home ballpark from their average just two years ago -- they don't merit more than one All-Star berth.
Some have argued that starting pitcher Cole Hamels deserves consideration because of his solid 2.98 ERA. But he lost again Wednesday and now has a 2-5 record. A lot of that has to do with the Phillies' lousy offense, true, but Hamels' numbers don't scream all-star, especially when considering other deserving pitchers.
Another possibility is closer Jonathan Papelbon, who has 19 saves, a 2-1 record and a 1.35 ERA. Papelbon is a five-time all-star, most recently in 2012, and this year's ERA, if it holds up, would be the second lowest of his career.
That's certainly a nice accomplishment so far this season. But Papelbon ranks ninth in the National League in saves and has blown two opportunities.
In truth, there are other closers who have pitched better. Huston Street of San Diego, for example, entered Thursday with a 0.90 ERA and was a perfect 22-for-22 on save chances.
That leaves Utley, 35, who has been named to five All-Star Games, most recently in 2010. He is not having a particularly great season, hitting .287 with six homers and 39 RBIs.
But as of July 1, Utley led the All-Star voting at second base -- votes were accepted until 11:59 Thursday night -- and will likely head off to his sixth Summer Classic.
MLB Team Report - Philadelphia Phillies - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won one
NEXT: Phillies (RHP Roberto Hernandez, 3-7, 4.26 ERA) at Pirates (RHP Gerrit Cole, 6-4, 4.02 ERA)
--RHP Roberto Hernandez will make his 16th start of the season Friday when the Phillies visit the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hernanez has a 4.26 ERA, which is in line with his 4.64 career ERA. His only years of sub-4.00 ERAs came in 2007 and 2010. Hernandez, who pitched for Tampa Bay in 2013 before signing with Philadelphia this season, is the epitome of a journeyman pitcher at age 33. Still, he is being mentioned in published trade rumors as teams are looking at him as a relatively inexpensive option for their failing rotations.
--RHP Kyle Kendrick, who has enjoyed great success against in the past against the Marlins -- a 12-3 record and a 3.75 ERA entering Thursday -- did it again. He went seven innings and allowed just two runs. He pitched a scoreless first innings, which doesn't sound too impressive, but it was for Kendrick. In 15 previous first innings this year, he had allowed a total of 15 runs. Once he got past the first on Thursday, Kendrick ultimately fell behind 2-0 until his team rallied in the sixth with three runs.
--2B Chase Utley, 35, who has been named to five All-Star Games, most recently in 2010, is not having a particularly great season, hitting .287 with six homers and 39 RBIs. But as of July 1, Utley led the All-Star voting at second base -- votes were accepted until 11:59 Thursday night -- and will likely head off to his sixth Summer Classic.
--RHP Jonathan Papelbon, who has 19 saves, a 2-1 record and a 1.35 ERA, is a fringe candidate for the All-Star game. Papelbon is a five-time All-Star, most recently in 2012, and this year's ERA, if it holds up, would be the second lowest of his career. However, he ranks ninth in the National League in saves and has blown two opportunities.
--LHP Mario Hollands, 25, has a bruised right knee after getting hit with a batted ball Wednesday. He is day-to-day. Hollands had his 19-game scoreless streak -- a Phillies rookie record -- snapped Wednesday. But the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder from Oakland, Calif., is still having a stellar season with a 2.70 ERA. In 30 innings, he has allowed 26 hits and 10 walks while striking out 23.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "The good thing is we didn't get swept. Getting swept is a bad feeling, and having to get on a plane after that is even worse." -- Phillies OF Tony Gwynn Jr. after his team beat the Marlins 5-4 on Thursday.
MLB Team Report - Philadelphia Phillies - ROSTER REPORT
--LHP Mario Hollands (bruised right knee) was unavailable July 3. He is day-to-day.
--C Carlos Ruiz (concussion-like symptoms) went on the seven-day disabled list June 27.
--LHP Cliff Lee (left elbow strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 19. He played catch for the first time in more than two weeks June 10. He threw a bullpen session June 24, then threw a simulated game June 27 and July 1. He could begin a rehab assignment by July 6 and return to the rotation by mid-July.
--C Wil Nieves (strained right quad) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 19.
--3B Reid Brignac (left ankle sprain) went on the 15-day disabled list June 20.
--RHP Mike Adams (right rotator cuff inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 7, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 2. An MRI revealed fraying of the labrum but no rotator cuff damage. He got a cortisone shot in mid-June. He won't be back before the All-Star break.
--RHP Jeff Manship (strained right quadriceps) went on the 15-day disabled list June 1.
LHP Cole Hamels
RHP A.J. Burnett
RHP Kyle Kendrick
RHP Roberto Hernandez
RHP David Buchanan
RHP Jonathan Papelbon (closer)
LHP Antonio Bastardo
LHP Jake Diekman
LHP Mario Hollands
RHP Justin De Fratus
RHP Ken Giles
RHP B.J. Rosenberg
1B Ryan Howard
2B Chase Utley
SS Jimmy Rollins
3B Cory Asche
INF Cesar Hernandez
INF Andres Blanco
LF Domonic Brown (paternity leave)
CF Ben Revere
RF Marlon Byrd
OF Tony Gwynn Jr.
OF John Mayberry Jr.
OF Aaron Altherr