Sunday, February 7, 2016

Four Phillies are All-Stars with room for another

TORONTO -- For the first time in franchise history, the Phillies have three All-Star pitchers.

Four Phillies are All-Stars with room for another

Placido Polanco, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels have been selected to the 2011 All-Star Game. (AP Photos)
Placido Polanco, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels have been selected to the 2011 All-Star Game. (AP Photos)

TORONTO -- For the first time in franchise history, the Phillies have three All-Star pitchers.

Three-fifths of the dream rotation crafted this winter was selected to the National League's team in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. In addition, Placido Polanco was voted in by fans as the team's starting third baseman.

And now Phillies fans will have a chance to vote another player in. Shane Victorino is one of five candidates on the Final Vote ballot. Voting lasts at until 4 p.m. on Thursday.

The last time the Phillies had two pitchers selected to the All-Star Game was 1999 when Curt Schilling and Paul Byrd went. Never before have three gone, let alone three starters.

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Halladay, 11-3 with a 2.44 ERA is a candidate to start the game for the National League. The decision for Bruce Bochy, manager of the team, likely comes down to Halladay and Braves righty Jair Jurrjens. The 25-year-old Jurrjens is also 11-3 with a major-league leading 1.89 ERA, but he has pitched 30 fewer innings than Halladay. This is Halladay's eighth selection to an All-Star team.

Lee, who has a 32-inning scoreless streak entering Sunday's start, was selected as an All-Star for the third time in his career. Lee receives a $50,000 bonus for his selection.

Hamels has been an All-Star just once before, in 2007. He will likely need to be replaced on this season's roster because he could pitch on the final Sunday before the all-star break. Major League Baseball enacted a rule last season that prohibits Sunday starters from appearing in the All-Star Game.

Polanco defeated Chipper Jones in the fan balloting at third base by more than a million votes despite hitting just .223 since May 1. Polanco has played a steady third base defensively while back issues have affected his swing. It's the second time Polanco is an All-Star; he was also voted in as American League second baseman in 2007.

Victorino has a great chance at earning a bid, too. He leads the Phillies in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He entered Sunday ninth in the National League with that .515 slugging percentage. Among outfielders that ranks fifth.

He was also on the Final Vote ballot in 2009 and won.

Bochy, the Giants' manager and NL skipper, picked three of his own pitchers: Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong. Vogelsong, the Octorara and Kutztown grad, was cut by the Phillies midway through last season. He has a 2.09 ERA in 12 starts.

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