Bryce Harper of the Phillies was voted National League DH All-Star; will not attend the game due to a broken thumb
ST. LOUIS — Bryce Harper is All-Star again.
Two weeks after breaking his left thumb, Harper held on to win the fan vote as the National League’s designated hitter in the 92nd annual All-Star Game, Major League Baseball announced Friday night. The Phillies star will be replaced on the NL roster and said he will not attend the July 19 game at Dodger Stadium due to appointments to rehab his stubborn right thumb and elbow.
“It’s an incredible honor to be voted in by the fans, especially for my first as Phillie,” Harper said in a text message. “I’m really upset that I can’t wear the Phillies stripes in Los Angeles because of what happened.
“But I look forward to doing it here again soon in the future. I love this organization and this fan base and wish I could do it for them.
This is Harper’s seventh All-Star selection, but his first since 2018 when he was still with the Washington Nationals. He was passed over in 2019 and last year with the Phillies, and the All-Star Game was not played in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
But Harper’s numbers were too overwhelming to ignore, even though he hasn’t played in the past two weeks and underwent thumb surgery last Wednesday.
READ MORE: Kyle Schwarber’s high school and college home run power legend at Phillies
The reigning NL MVP hits .318/.385/.599 with 21 doubles, 15 homers and 175 OPS+, meaning he was 75% better than the league average. Harper won the first stage of the fan vote, then tallied 59% of the vote in the final stage to edge William Contreras of the Atlanta Braves (41%).
Harper is the first Phillies player to be a starter since Chase Utley in 2014. JT Realmuto ended up in the NL roster last year because injured San Francisco Giants wide receiver Buster Posey couldn’t not play.
All-Star reserves and pitchers will be announced Sunday night. Four Phillies players — starting pitchers Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola, left fielder Kyle Schwarber and reliever Seranthony Domínguez — appear to have a solid case to be named to the roster.
Coming into his start Friday night in St. Louis, Wheeler ranked second in the NL in independent pitchers (2.48), seventh in ERA (2.66) and seventh in strikeouts (99). Nola, who has a 3.15 ERA in 17 starts, ranked second in the league in strikeouts (120) and fourth in wins over pitching substitution (3.4).
Schwarber, meanwhile, led the NL with 27 home runs, the most by a Phillies player before the All-Star break since Ryan Howard had 28 in 2008. As of Memorial Day, Schwarber leads all baseball with 17 home runs.
READ MORE: Bryce Harper expects trade deadline help. It’s up to his Phillies teammates to get there.
Domínguez may be long because he only has three stops and the closest ones are usually chosen for the All-Star Game. But entering Friday, he ranked second among NL relievers in walks/hits per inning pitched (0.81) and seventh in ERA (1.74).
Harper’s elbow has kept him from pitching since mid-April, relegating him to DH status since then. He was only eligible to be voted into the All-Star Game as a DH. The NL starting outfield will consist of Ronald Acuña Jr. (Braves), Mookie Betts (Dodgers) and Joc Pederson (Giants).
Two days after leaving his first Double-A start early, potential Phillies pitcher Griff McGarry went on the disabled list with a blister in his hand.
McGarry, a 23-year-old right-hander, is having a big season after being drafted in the fifth round last year. He had a 3.86 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 46⅔ innings for Jersey Shore high and was promoted last week at Reading. He allowed three runs on two hits and three walks in 2⅓ innings Wednesday night.
Reliever Connor Brogdon, who is returning from a nearly two-week absence due to COVID-19, felt “tired,” according to interim manager Rob Thomson, after a 20-pitch scoreless inning Thursday night for the triple-A Lehigh Valley. He will pitch another inning on Saturday before eventually joining the team. … The Phillies sent left-hander Bailey Falter to triple-A after leaving Thursday and recalled reliever Michael Kelly. … Southpaw Kent Emanuel was reinstated from the 60-day injured list and assigned to triple-A. To open up a 40-man berth, the Phillies designated newly acquired reliever Sam Clay for assignment. …. Kyle Gibson (4-3, 4.91 ERA) is expected to start Saturday against Cardinals right-hander Dakota Hudson (6-5, 4.29).