Phillies set franchise record for All-Stars in 2024

ATLANTA — This season could be a special one for the Phillies.

It could be the most special thing — perhaps ever — if they win the World Series this fall. The Phils are on track to win a franchise-record 105 games, and on Sunday they learned they have a franchise-record seven players named to the National League All-Star team for the 2024 All-Star Game in Arlington.

These are seven players from a selection of 26 men.

“It could be more than that,” ace Zack Wheeler said. “It shows how well we’ve played as a group. Everyone on the roster is a part of every game and winning.”

The Phillies have never had more than five All-Stars in a season before. This is the first time they have had two All-Star relievers in the same year.

“Still in disbelief,” Strahm said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Phillies manager Rob Thomson called a team meeting before Sunday’s 6-0 loss to the Braves to announce that Wheeler, Suárez, Hoffman and Strahm were on the roster. Wheeler and Suárez likely knew they were making the team.

Hoffman and Strahm hoped so, but they weren’t sure.

“I was shaking like crazy,” Hoffman said. “It took me a while to calm down. I called my wife. Everybody’s very happy — and happy to cancel our All-Star [break] plans, and instead just hang out and play baseball.”

Hoffman and his family had planned to spend the holidays on the Jersey shore.

Texas sounds cool.

Suárez and Wheeler were no-brainers. They are two of the best starting pitchers in baseball. Suárez is 10-3 with a 2.58 ERA and 2.7 WAR, according to FanGraphs. It is his first All-Star selection. Wheeler is 9-4 with a 2.74 ERA and 2.8 WAR. It is his second All-Star selection.

Suárez could pitch an inning next week in Texas. Wheeler will not because he is scheduled to pitch against the A’s next Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. He has already been declared inactive for the All-Star Game.

Will Suarez pitch if given the chance?

“One hundred percent,” Suárez said through team interpreter Diego D’Aniello. “If I go, I want to pitch. It’s my first All-Star Game. I want to have that feeling of my first All-Star appearance.”

“It was just all part of my plan,” Suárez said with a laugh. “They came this year because they knew I was going to make the All-Star team. I’m just really happy that they’re here for my first All-Star selection.”

Both Strahm and Hoffman were just as deserving as Suarez and Wheeler, but relievers are often selected based on their save totals.

Hoffman has only eight. Strahm has none.

But both have been among the most dominant relievers in the majors. Hoffman is 3-1 with a 1.21 ERA, 47 strikeouts and eight walks in 37 1/3 innings. Strahm is 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA, 45 strikeouts and four walks in 34 innings.

Hoffman (1.5) and Strahm (1.4) rank second and third, respectively, among MLB relievers in WAR.

“Just the history of All-Stars, I guess, I didn’t expect much,” Strahm said. “I was hoping Jeff would get the nod, obviously, with what he’s done and his saves. Saves usually look better than the ‘H’ [for holds]. He’s done an incredible job turning his career around. He really deserves it.

“But the way the game is going, I think guys are starting to see that you don’t just win games in the ninth inning. That’s good to see. That’s good for the game.”

What makes Hoffman and Strahm’s selection even cooler is that they are best friends. They play catch together every day.

“It’ll be nice not to have that conversation, like, ‘Hey, anybody wanna catch?'” Hoffman said. “I’ve got my buddy. I’ll probably be the only one with my real catching partner there. It was awesome. They announced Strahmy’s name first, and I think that took more of a load off my shoulders than when I heard my own name. I know how much work and time and effort he put into it.”

The Phillies have previously been selected to the All-Star team six times: in 2011 (Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Placido Polanco and Shane Victorino); in 2009 (Ryan Howard, Raul Ibañez, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and Victorino); in 1995 (Darren Daulton, Lenny Dykstra, Tyler Green, Mickey Morandini and Heathcliff Slocumb); in 1981 (Steve Carlton, Pete Rose, Dick Ruthven, Mike Schmidt and Manny Trillo); in 1979 (Bob Boone, Larry Bowa, Carlton, Rose and Schmidt); and in 1976 (Dave Cash, Greg Luzinski, Boone, Bowa and Schmidt).

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