You won’t see any current Phillies in the National League’s starting lineup for tomorrow night’s MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland, but there is a former Phillie in the American League lineup. Let’s see if you can spot his name. Go ahead:
AL Lineup… pic.twitter.com/gmo8gZFwv2
— Richard Justice (@richardjustice) July 8, 2019
Ah yes, there he is! Carlos Santana. Batting cleanup. In an All-Star Game. Protecting Mike Trout.
Santana, you’ll recall, was dealt by the Phillies to the Mariners this offseason along with J.P. Crawford in exchange for Jean Segura, the currently injured Juan Nicasio, and the since cut James Pazos. He landed with Cleveland after a subsequent three-team deal also involving the Rays.
In his lone season with the Phillies, Santana, whose most notable moment came last September when he reportedly smashed a television because he was pissed at his teammates for playing video games, hit .229 with a .766 OPS. So, of course, it makes perfect sense that he’s hitting .297 with a career-best .958 OPS this season. He’s also on pace to smash his hits, doubles, homers, and RBI totals of a season ago.
(Kyle, ever a troll, wanted me to do a side-by-side comparison of Santana and Bryce Harper, but I’ll pass.)
Obviously, the Phillies needed to move on from Santana in order to shift Rhys Hoskins back to first base after his/their failed left field experiment. Still, Santana’s resurgence seems about par for the course, as does the .814 OPS in 39 games produced by 24-year-old infielder J.P. Crawford.