Phillies 3B Kevin Frandsen. (Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
There is a big question mark stamped next to the third baseman’s name for the 2013 season. It’s a position that hasn’t had a consistent inhabitant since Scott Rolen was traded in 2002.
A few guys like David Bell, Pedro Feliz and Placido Polanco were supposed to be main-stays. But only Polanco managed to make an All-Star appearance.
It’s also a position that has fielded the likes of Abraham Nunez, Greg Dobbs, Wes Helms and Ty Wigginton.
The future for third base still doesn’t look bright for the Phillies. General manager Ruben Amaro already knows this, and he’s already tried addressing it at the deadline.
Philadelphia exercised the option of plucking top third base prospect Mike Olt from the Texas Rangers in a deal centered around Cliff Lee but nothing ever came to fruition for both clubs. Olt would have given the Phillies their first real third baseman since Rolen, and a prospect to be truly excited about since Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
They also were named as one of the teams interested in acquiring Padres third baseman Chase Headley.
The Tigers catcher/infielder Brandon Inge has been through what Chase Utley has before and it isn’t pretty.
Inge battled petellar tendinitis in 2009 so he knows what Utley is looking at. He said Utley has two options: either getting the surgery which will end his season or play through some intense pain which I think would hinder the team.
Before every all star game is the State Farm Home Run Derby. This year will feature another one of your Phillies stars in Ryan Howard. Howard is in his third derby, winning in 2006 and failing to get out of the first round in 2007. As the big story of the derby, Howard was born in St. Louis, the location of this year’s game and derby. He will have to win the hearts of the home crowd as he goes against home town hero Albert Pujols. The game will be on ESPN at 8 PM ET.
NL contestants: Ryan Howard – Phillies – 22 HR Albert Pujols – Cardinals – 32 HR Prince Fielder – Brewers – 22 HR Adrian Gonzalez – Padres – 24 HR
AL contestants: Brandon Inge – Tigers – 21 HR Carlos Pena – Rays – 24 HR Joe Mauer – Twins – 15 HR Nelson Cruz – Rangers – 22 HR
My predictions: Pujols, Howard, Pena, and Cruz will advance. Pujols over Howard in the Final.
Brandon Inge and Shane Victorino got together to form a nick name in their co-campaign for the MLB Final Vote for the 2009 All Star Game in St. Louis. Well it worked as Inge will represent the American League and Victorino in the National League as the 33rd players on their respective squads.
Victorino edged out Pablo Sandoval for the final spot on the NL roster. Sandoval will likely make the team if Carlos Beltran is too hurt to play. With Beltran’s absence, Victorino may start as he would be the only true center fielder for the NL.
Congrats to Shane and Inge and hopefully to the “Kung Foo Panda” as Giants fans affectionately call Sandoval.