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MLB All-Star Squad: Added Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber, snubbed Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola

ST. LOUIS — Kyle Schwarber, whose power explosion in June helped turn the Phillies’ season around, was named to the National League All-Star list on Sunday.

Voted by his peers, Schwarber is the team’s second pick for the MLB All-Star Game, played at Dodger Stadium a week beginning Tuesday. Bryce Harper was chosen as the NL’s starting player-designate in fan voting, but is unable to participate due to a broken left thumb.

Schwarber’s selection is no surprise; He leads the NL with 28 home runs, two fewer than New York Yankee Aaron Judge in the major leagues.

Surprisingly, Schwarber isn’t joined by Zack Wheeler or Aaron Nola at the All-Star Game. Neither was selected, despite placing fourth and fifth respectively in Fangraphs WAR for NL starting pitchers.

“Of course it’s always something you want to be in your job,” Schwarber said of his All-Star status. “I think there are a lot more All-Stars in this room who deserve it very much and it’s kind of a shame. Hopefully they can get involved somehow.”

Schwarber mentioned Wheeler, Nola, Seranthony Dominguez and Rhys Hoskins as deserving teammates.

The 29-year-old Schwarber made his debut All-Star team with Washington last year but did not play in the game with a right hamstring injury. He’s eager to get playing time in this year’s game.

“It’s definitely an honor to represent the Phillies,” he said. “I don’t think I would be here without the people around me, teammates and staff. It’s something that resonates with everyone across the room.”

Schwarber is invited to attend the Home Run Derby the night before the game. He is undecided whether he will do so.

“I’m up in the air right now, I’d say 50-50,” he said. “I will make a decision in the next few days. I want to see how my body is doing. It’s a bucket list thing. I did it once in 2018 and it’s fun. But it’s also exhausting.”

Schwarber signed a four-year, $78 million contract with the Phillies in March and made a huge impact on the club with his performance and leadership in his first season at Philadelphia.

After a slow start, it exploded in June. He batted 12 home runs and drove in 27 carries while recording an OPS of 1,065 and was named NL Player of the Month. The Phils went 19-8 in June, going from a lifeless eight games under .500 to a lively three games by. The hot phase of the team continued in July. The Phils are 6-3 a month and have control of the third and final NL wildcard berth by a game margin over the Cardinals.

Wheeler, last year’s NL Cy Young Award runner-up, is having another great season. He hasn’t allowed a run in 14 innings over two starts this month and ranks fifth in the NL in ERA (2.46) and 10th in WHIP (1.05).

Wheeler’s body language suggested some disappointment at not being selected for the team.

“It would have been a privilege,” he said. “But it is what it is. I will spend time with my family.”

It’s still possible that Wheeler could be picked as a replacement. It’s not uncommon for pitchers to drop out of the All-Star Game due to their workload in the days leading up to the event.

Nola, who plays Monday night for the Phillies against the Cardinals, ranks 14th in the league with a 3.15 ERA, but he’s second in innings (111⅓), third in strikeouts (120), and fourth in WHIP ( 0.93).

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