Surprising start to MLB All-Star Game voting for several Phillies

Surprising start to MLB All-Star Game voting for several Phillies

Less than two weeks ago, there was the thought that the Phillies could have as many as five representatives at this year’s All-Star Game in Cleveland (see story). The first look at the fan voting could paint a much different picture.

Major League Baseball released a look at how the voting is going during “The Primary” of its new system to vote players into the All-Star Game in Cleveland. Players must finish high enough in the voting in their respective position to move on to the “Starters Election” portion of the voting. Right now, only one member of the Phillies, J.T. Realmuto, would qualify and Cesar Hernandez is the team’s leading vote-getter ... seriously.

Cesar Hernandez: 265,608, fourth among second basemen

Bryce Harper: 242,719, 11th among outfielders

J.T. Realmuto: 206,442, third among catchers

Jean Segura: 138,716, fifth among shortstop

Andrew McCutchen: 125,927, 15th among outfielders

Rhys Hoskins: 109,680, seventh among first basemen

Scott Kingery: 93,825, 19th among outfielders 

Here’s a look at where the NL voting stands as of Tuesday, June 11. The players in the shaded region will move on to the election to determine the All-Star Game starters.

Hernandez is the leading vote-getter for the Phillies with 265,608; that’s 22,889 more than the six-time All-Star Harper. Right now, Realmuto is just 4,000 votes away from being knocked out of the Starters Election portion of the vote.

Voting will continue until the announcement on June 21, when a new vote will run for 28 hours on June 26, when the top vote-getters at each position will compete to see who will start the game. The All-Star reserves will then be announced on June 30 and will be selected, along with the pitchers, through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the commissioner’s office. So, the Phillies could certainly receive a number of selections to the game this way, just not as starters.

With the way things look now, the Phillies need your help to have some representation in the starting lineup. Fans can vote at, all 30 club sites, the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps and on Google search.

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At the Yard podcast: Phillies takeaways from the GM Meetings


At the Yard podcast: Phillies takeaways from the GM Meetings

Jim Salisbury relays the juiciest info — Phillies and leaguewide — from MLB's GM Meetings in Arizona. Check out the latest At the Yard podcast.

• Scott Boras immediately makes his presence felt

• Biggest takeaways from the GM Meetings

• Phillies interested in Mike Moustakas

• Surveying the third base landscape

• Gerrit Cole, Cole Hamels and more

• Odubel Herrera update

• Gabe Kapler's rocky road to acceptance in San Francisco

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What about Odubel Herrera, the Phillies’ forgotten man?

What about Odubel Herrera, the Phillies’ forgotten man?

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Odubel Herrera, the Phillies’ forgotten man, is working out in Miami as he seeks to restart his career after an 85-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

But can the Phillies, given all that has happened, actually ever put him back on the field again?

“I don't know the answer to that. I really don't,” general manager Matt Klentak said at this week’s annual general managers meetings. “I think the best thing I could say there is, because the landscape has changed, he's going to have to earn whatever he gets. He doesn't walk back in as the opening day center fielder. 

“Right now, he’s on the 40-man roster and under contract so if camp started tomorrow, he would be there. What happens between now and February? I don’t know.”

Herrera, who turns 28 next month, was the Phillies’ starting center fielder for four-plus seasons before his suspension for an incident in May, and he has two years and more than $20 million remaining on his contract. When Major League Baseball and the Players Association forged its joint policy on domestic violence, both sides agreed that a player violating the policy could not have his contract voided. To move on from Herrera, the Phillies would have to eat the remainder of his salary and prove that they were releasing him for purely baseball reasons.

If you listen closely, you can almost hear Klentak building that case.

“I think the most important thing to recognize with Odubel is the situation that he left in the spring when he was suspended and the situation he's coming back to are not the same,” Klentak said. “Because Scott Kingery went out there and played a well-above-average defensive center field for us for spurts last year. Adam Haseley came up from the minor leagues and did a really good job and we still have Roman Quinn, who when healthy is as dynamic as any player in the league. So, whereas Odubel had been the everyday center fielder for a handful of seasons, now all of a sudden there's more of a competition there so the landscape has changed.”

Herrera was an All-Star in 2016 but his performance has declined in subsequent seasons. Dating to August 2018, he has hit just .204 over his last 84 games.

The Phillies still have several months before they have to make a decision on Herrera and with five openings on the 40-man roster, they are not in immediate need of space. It is still possible that Herrera could be traded (with the Phillies eating the bulk of his salary and getting little in return), but other teams will face the same public scrutiny about taking on the player. The Phillies could also option Herrera to Triple A, but that would require keeping him on the 40-man roster and in the organization.

Klentak was careful to point out that Herrera “is an option for us.” But given the gravity of the situation and the time that has passed, one has to wonder if he really is. Time will tell.

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