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Neshek headed to All-Star Game

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Pat Neshek joined the Phillies in the offseason as a self-described salary dump.

But following a stellar performance on a team with the worst record in baseball, Neshek learned Sunday that he will be the Phillies' lone representative on the National League All-Star team. He is 2-2 with a 1.39 ERA in 35 appearances. It is the sixth-best ERA among NL relievers.

NEW YORK -- Pat Neshek joined the Phillies in the offseason as a self-described salary dump.

But following a stellar performance on a team with the worst record in baseball, Neshek learned Sunday that he will be the Phillies' lone representative on the National League All-Star team. He is 2-2 with a 1.39 ERA in 35 appearances. It is the sixth-best ERA among NL relievers.

"To come here and get the opportunity to pitch big innings, it means a lot," said Neshek, who the Astros traded to Philadelphia for cash considerations in November. "It's really hard to do as a middle reliever. I'm just thrilled. I'm kind of surprised, which you guys might not think. I didn't really think it was going to happen."

It is the second All-Star appearance for Neshek. He made the 2014 NL team with the Cardinals. He took the loss in Minnesota.

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

"I'm a good trivia question," Neshek joked.

Neshek went 2-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 60 appearances last season with Houston, but the Astros picked up his $6.5 million club option with the intent to trade him. The Phillies got him, hoping he could be a nice complimentary piece to the bullpen and pitch well enough to be traded to a contender before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Video: Pat Neshek is headed to the 2017 All-Star Game

The Phillies are getting their wish. Neshek has pitched so well that there is a good possibility he will be traded before the end of the month. The Phillies could acquire a low-level prospect in return. While the Phillies will not balk at a prospect in Double-A or Triple-A, a lower-level player would give them one fewer prospect to protect in December's Rule 5 Draft. That is an important consideration for a rebuilding team trying to stockpile as much talent as possible.

"I'm ready if that happens," Neshek said. "You could go into a pennant race and if not, I like what's going on here. We lost a lot of games, but we lost so many close games. You take those (21 one-run losses) and you're in first place. You could get a bat and change that dynamic and we score runs and shut down innings, I think we have something good here. It would be nice to stay too. But I understand."

A trade could happen at any point, even in the coming days. Jeff Samardzija got traded from the Cubs to the A's on July 4, 2014, just after he made the NL All-Star team. He wore a generic All-Star uniform at the game, but was ineligible to pitch.

"He didn't know where to go in the National League photo or American League photo," Neshek recalled. "He had a jersey with both of them. He came over with us for the Home Run Derby and then he went with the other team for the game. It was kind of funny. I hope it doesn't happen that early, but who knows?"

Fans can cast ballots for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, club sites and their mobile devices until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners, as chosen by online voting totals, will be announced during "MLB Tonight" on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. Extensive coverage throughout the Final Vote will be provided by MLB Network and MLB.com, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns, and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.

Now in its 16th season, with more than 680 million votes cast, the Final Vote will include social votes on the last day of balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the final six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.

On Tuesday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. ET, watch the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Pat Neshek