Skipper sees several Phillies as All-Stars

June 3rd, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO -- It has been a long time since the Phillies had more than one selection on the National League All-Star team. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler wondered Saturday at AT&T Park if they could have multiples this year.
VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot
"Gosh, I don't want to be too much of a homer here," Kapler said before their game against the Giants. "The first thing I would submit is there's still time, so a 10-game stretch of brilliance, a 10-game stretch of really good performance could put a lot guys into the mix. I don't think Jorge [Alfaro] is crazy by any stretch, Odubel [Herrera], Cesar [Hernandez], , [Jake] Arrieta, [Aaron] Nola, I think all of those guys are in the conversation."
could enter the mix if he dominates the rest of the month.
"I would have said Rhys [Hoskins]," Kapler said, referring to Hoskins' recent injury.
The Phillies probably have three legitimate candidates to make the team, based on their performance through Friday: right-handers Nola (7-2, 2.18 ERA) and Arrieta (5-2, 2.16 ERA) and center fielder Herrera, who is second among NL center fielders in batting average (.313 as a center fielder), third in on-base percentage (.374) and fourth in slugging percentage (.488). But Herrera has hit .147 with a .447 OPS in his past 12 games entering Saturday, putting his selection in jeopardy.
Kapler touted Hernandez, who leads NL second basemen in on-base percentage (.382 as a second baseman) and stolen bases (10). Hernandez, however, is sixth among 10 qualified second basemen with an .810 OPS.

"I think from a profile perspective, what he does for our club, those are some pretty important characteristics," Kapler said. "It's an important profile and it's at least worth considering."
The past four seasons the Phillies have had Pat Neshek (2017), Herrera (2016), Jonathan Papelbon (2015) and (2014) make the NL team. Cliff Lee and made the squad in 2013, the last time the Phillies had two selections. Cole Hamels, and Papelbon made the 2012 team, the last time they had three selections.
That offensive funk
The Phillies are striking out more and walking less in the past two-plus weeks. Kapler is not worried.
"Look, I have confidence that we have one of the best, if not the best, hitting coach in baseball and plenty of talent to weather this storm," Kapler said, referring to hitting coach John Mallee.
Injury updates
• Right-hander Neshek (strained right forearm) threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session. Neshek will throw his next bullpen session sometime early next week.
• Shortstop (strained right forearm) played nine innings Saturday with Class A Advanced Clearwater. He will play another nine-inning game with the Threshers before the Phillies decide Crawford's next step, which ultimately will include some time with Triple-A Lehigh Valley before he is activated. Kapler said he expects Crawford to "take down regular reps" at shortstop once he rejoins the team, which means could bounce around the field like he had before Crawford landed on the DL on April 29.
• Infielder had successful surgery on his broken right foot. There is no timetable for his return.