Chase Utley has not been voted to an All-Star Game since 2010, but for the sixth time in his 12-year career, Utley will be starting at second base for the National League in the MLB’s Mid-Summer Classic.
For the past three years since his last All-Star Game, Utley has been battered with injuries leading to average numbers, explaining his brief absence from the All-Star Game. But this year, the Phillies fan favorite has played in 84 of the team’s 88 games, with no injuries affecting his performance.
Although he has been slumping as of late, hitting .182 with only four total hits and three RBIs in the month of July, Utley got off to a phenomenal start, as he entered the month of June batting .320 with a .381 OBP in only 50 games played. Even by factoring in his late struggles to produce, Utley still ranks fourth among N.L. second basemen in batting average (.286), third in on-base percentage (.344), first in extra-base hits (33), third in runs scored (46), and first in wins above replacement (2.5).
“Obviously I’m honored to represent the Phillies and the National League in the All-Star Game,” Utley said about his first All-Star Selection since 2010. “It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been a few years since I’ve been able to participate. I’m going to try to enjoy it.”
Chase Utley certainly deserves the honor of starting his sixth All-Star Game, considering he has been the glimpse of hope throughout a rollercoaster ride of a season for the Phillies that has now appeared to hit rock bottom. If not for the need of an injury replacement, the 2014 All-Star Game will be the first since 2003 with only one Phillies player.
As the late Hall of Fame Broadcaster in Harry Kalas use to say, Chase Utley, you are the man.
Image Source: Rick Yeatts/Getty Images