Utley gets sixth All-Star starting nod, first since '10
Second baseman to be the Phillies' sole representative in Minneapolis
PITTSBURGH -- Chase Utley has never been eager to discuss his talents, accomplishments and accolades.
But he tried his best Sunday at PNC Park, where he learned he would be the Phillies' sole representative at the All-Star Game on July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis. Fans elected Utley the starting National League second baseman for the sixth time in his career and first time since 2010, when he could not play in the All-Star Game following thumb surgery.
Chronic knee injuries kept Utley on the disabled list for much of the 2011 and 2012 seasons. A strained oblique forced him to miss a month in 2013. Finally able to stay healthy, Utley put up good enough statistics early in the season to get elected.
"I always thought I had an opportunity to [make another All-Star team], but I needed to stay on the field," Utley said. "I needed to get my body right. I feel like I've done a good job of doing that. I think all the time and the hard work I've put in has paid off."
Utley is hitting .286 with 24 doubles, three triples, six home runs, 40 RBIs and a .776 OPS in 84 games this season. He entered Sunday first among NL second basemen in doubles; second in triples, RBIs, slugging percentage (.437) and OPS; third in runs (46), hits (93) and on-base percentage (.345); fourth in batting average; and fifth in home runs.
Utley started the season on a tear, posting a .335 average and .919 OPS through May 28. He has slumped since, but there are teams that need a second baseman and would love to have him. His name could come up in trade rumors before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, although Utley, who has 10-and-5 rights, said recently he did not plan on going anywhere.
"Ideally it'd be better if we had more wins in the win column," Utley said. "But obviously I'm honored to represent the Phillies and the National League in the All-Star Game. 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.
"Obviously your first All-Star game you really appreciate. After the issues I've gone through over the past two or three years, it is nice to be back."
CHASE UTLEY, 2B
Prior ASGs: 2006-10
ASG W-L: 1-4
ASG Stats: 2-for-9, 1 K
How he made 2014 AL/NL team: Elected by fans
Why he's an All-Star: Utley reasserted himself as one of the best second basemen in the game after missing much of the previous three seasons with injuries.
DYK?: Only Mike Schmidt (nine) has been elected a starter more times in Phillies history. The only other NL second basemen to have been elected more are Ryne Sandberg (nine) and Joe Morgan (seven).
Quotable: "He was outstanding all the way through May through 60 games," Sandberg said. "He was hitting .340 and tearing the cover off the ball. He tapered off some in June. His overall steadiness and his defense has picked up and been solid. It's hard to argue."
Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, fans began voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until the winners are announced after the voting concludes on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.