Major League Baseball announced the rest of its All Star rosters on Monday, and not surprisingly, Major League Baseball's worst team has only one representative.
Closer Jonathan Papelbon will be the lone Phillie playing in Cincinnati on July 14 for the National League.
Papelbon is having a terrific season for the Phils, despite being a seldom-used closer. He has 14 saves, a 1.65 ERA and a 2.72 FIP, striking out 34 and walking 7 in 32.2 innings this year.
That is certainly All-Star worthy, as Papelbon continues to put to rest any worries that his declining fastball velocity would make him less effective. And perhaps it could even boost his trade stock a bit, as the team continues to shop him ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
The Phils had just one representative last year as well, second baseman Chase Utley. In 2003 Randy Wolf was the only Phillie to make the NL roster, with Jimmy Rollins (2001), Mike Lieberthal (2000) and Curt Schilling (1997, '98) before that.
It is also the first time since 1996 that a Phils' closer has been the team's lone representative, when Ricky Bottalico was the only Phillie playing that year. That was a particularly depressing All Star Game, with Veterans Stadium serving as host, but only one measly little Phillie, a reliever, taking part.
But even though the Phils haven't been very good this year, there were two other players who merited consideration.
Cole Hamels continues to put together one consistently great season after another, but this year was bumped in favor of Madison Bumgarner, A.J. Burnett, Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller, Max Scherzer and Michael Wacha.
Hamels' fWAR of 2.2 is tied for 10th best in the NL, with Miller, Bumgarner, and Wacha all below him according to that metric (although just barely). And in terms of ERA, Hamels' 3.02 ranks 15th in the NL, better than Kershaw and Bumgarner.
Here are the numbers between Bumgarner, Hamels, Clayton Kershaw (who was also left off) and Johnny Cueto (who along with Kershaw is in the Final 5 vote).
At the very least, it should have been a dead heat between these four pitchers. Given the Phils' record, it's understandable why Hamels was left off the team.
The other Phillie who could have made the roster is rookie third baseman Maikel Franco, who burst onto scene earlier this year and has hit .297/.345/.531 with 10 HRs and an fWAR of 1.5. That's already seventh-best in the NL in just 206 plate appearances.
In fact, compare his season thus far with that of the reserve third baseman for the All Star team, the Cubs' Kris Bryant.
The only reason some of Bryant's counting stats are better is because he has been in the big leagues for all but the first two weeks of the season.
Nevertheless, Bryant is a deserving candidate, and it's understandable that Franco was omitted as well. Just a bummer, that's all.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there's going to be much of a reason for Phils fans to watch the All Star Game this year, especially when you consider it's possible Papelbon may not even be in a Phillies uniform next week.
So congratulations Jonathan Papelbon! It's like 1996 all over again.