Harper was voted in as the DH last summer but did not participate because he broke his thumb three weeks earlier. He didn’t quite deserve the starting nod this season. He missed the first month recovering from Tommy John surgery, returned a month sooner than just about anyone expected, but has not produced like Bryce Harper right away.
He’s taken his walks and gotten on base, including a clutch two-out, two-run single Thursday that served as the difference in the Phillies’ 3-1 win. Harper finished the Cubs series hitting .278/.380/.383 but has just three home runs in 213 plate appearances, none since May 25.
Martinez, sapped of his power last season with the Red Sox, has bounced back with the Dodgers in 2023, already exceeding last year’s home run total by two in 66 fewer games. Martinez is hitting .257 with 18 homers, 51 RBI and an .874 OPS.
Nick Castellanos is the likeliest Phillie to make it as an All-Star reserve. Jose Alvarado could also make it. J.T. Realmuto has a case as the third-best catcher in the National League so far this season.
Pitchers and reserve position players — 23 for each league — will be announced at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN on Sunday, July 2. Those selections are made by the commissioner’s office and player ballot choices.
Here are the National League’s starters for the Midsummer Classic:
Catcher: Sean Murphy (Braves)
First base: Freddie Freeman (Dodgers)
Second base: Luis Arraez (Marlins)
Third base: Nolan Arenado (Cardinals)
Shortstop: Orlando Arcia (Braves)
Designated hitter: J.D. Martinez (Dodgers)
Phillies manager Rob Thomson will skipper the NL team, as managers who made it to the World Series the prior year do, and the Phillies’ coaching staff will join him in Seattle.
Source: Yahoo Sports