By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Beyond finding ways to trade away their former ones, the Phillies should not be worried all that much about all-stars. With that said, the game does matter since Major League Baseball has deemed that it should count for something.
Voting is now underway for this year’s game and each team in the league must be represented by at least one all-star. What player or players on the Phillies deserve your vote?
In the past, voting was easy for Phillies fans. You would just pencil in Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels and the other usual names. Now, it may take a little more thought if you really want to base your votes on performance. Utley and Howard are far from being deserving of those clicks.
1. Freddy Galvis
One young player that does deserve some early votes is the team’s new starting shortstop, Freddy Galvis. Following the trade of Jimmy Rollins, Galvis received an opportunity to prove himself on a daily basis and he’s doing so successfully.
Galvis is hitting .349 on the season in 86 at bats. He boasts the highest batting average of any shortstop on the National League ballot.
Galvis also leads the Phillies in batting average, hits, on base percentage and OPS. At 25, Galvis is one of the young bright spots in what has been a difficult start to the Phillies’ season.
2. Odubel Herrera
Another player that might be worth your vote is Odubel Herrera. The Rule 5 pick of the Phillies is not necessarily lighting the world on fire, but he has shown that he is deserving of playing everyday in the Phillies lineup and is consistent.
The 23-year-old centerfielder is second on the Phillies in batting average (out of position players) at .289. He is also second in runs (10), second in hits (28), first in doubles (6), second in triples (2) and third in RBI’s (9).
He also has a .967 fielding percentage despite getting used to playing in centerfield on a daily basis.
3. Jonathan Papelbon
Luckily for Phillies fans, the all-star pitchers are not named with a fan vote. If they were, fans might be forced to put the complicated relationship aside and vote for Jonathan Papelbon.
If the enigmatic closer is still with the team in July, there is a solid chance that he might very well represent the Phillies in Cincinnati.
Papelbon has a 1.59 ERA and is 5-5 in save opportunities this season. Batters are hitting just 1.90 against the Phillies closer and Papelbon has only allowed two earned runs in 11 appearances.
Utley was the lone Phillies representative in the 2014 All-Star Game. Unless he finds a way to dig out of his catastrophic start, it will be hard to imagine him being the Phillie on hand this year.
Voting for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game lasts until July 2. Fill out your ballots wisely.