Phillies Slugger Schwarber Named All-Star; Wheeler, Nola Snubbed
We learned last week that Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper was elected as a starter to the 2022 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Los Angeles. Sunday night, ESPN's All-Star Selection Show revealed the remaining All-Stars. Despite some players putting up some numbers, the Phillies will have just one healthy All-Star on the roster.
Phillies left fielder Kyle Schwarber was named a reserve outfielder. Leading the National League in home runs, Schwarber was an obvious offensive choice. While the opportunity was there for the National League to replace Harper in the lineup with another Phillie in Schwarber, the nod went to someone else.
Designated hitter William Contreras of the Atlanta Braves will replace Harper in the lineup. That means that William and his brother, catcher Willson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs, will start in the same All-Star lineup. That is the first duo of brothers since Roberto Alomar and Sandy Alomar, Jr. started in the same lineup in 1992.
Another disappointment came in the selection of pitchers.
Despite pitching to a stellar 8-4 record and 2.46 earned run average, Zack Wheeler was passed over for the National League staff. The reason could have been the inclusion of Cincinnati Reds starter Luis Castillo, whose numbers are very good but not as good as Wheeler. Castillo made the roster as the only Cincinnati Reds player.
While on the surface, Aaron Nola's 5-6 record and 3.15 ERA look lesser than Wheeler's, Nola's 3.4 WAR is actually .2 higher than Wheeler's 3.2. The case very much could have been made for Nola, too, though he was not the one many were expecting to come from the Phillies staff.
There could be opportunities coming for either pitcher, after injuries and pitchers ineligible to throw are taken into account.
But for now, Schwarber is the only healthy Phillies player on the 2022 National League All-Star team. One more opportunity could be out there: players have not yet been named to the 2022 Home Run derby. As the league leader, Schwarber should at least be considered.