Recapping the Break: Phillies dominate the 2023 All-Star Weekend

Phillies all-star Nick Castellanos
National League’s Elias Díaz, of the Colorado Rockies (35), celebrates his two run home run with Nick Castellanos (8), of the Philadelphia Phillies, in the eighth inning during the MLB All-Star baseball game in Seattle, Tuesday, July 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

The All-Star festivities have wrapped up in Seattle, and what a few days it has been for the Philadelphia Phillies.

The All-Star break is always a good time. The Futures Game, the Celebrity All-Star softball game, the Home Run Derby, and the All-Star game itself. These events are not only enjoyable for hardcore baseball fans, but also the casual fan, who might be tuning in to see players hit absolute moonshots into the stands.

The Phillies were well represented, as the reigning National League champs sent their entire coaching staff to help Rob Thomson manage the All-Star game. Thomson included the Phillies’ bullpen catchers, as the reigning NL Champs got to manage the National League, thanks to their finish last season.

Nick Castellanos and Craig Kimbrel shined in the All-Star game itself, and most importantly, the NL took home the win. This was the first time in 11 games that the National League had been able to win, and a Phillies manager has won two of the last three wins for the NL.

Phillies Nick Castellanos rounds bases after Elias Diaz home run
Fans reach for a two run home run ball by National League’s Elias Díaz, of the Colorado Rockies (35), in the eighth inning during the MLB All-Star baseball game in Seattle, Tuesday, July 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

The Future is Bright for the Phillies

Starting off with the Futures Game on Sunday, the Phillies had two of their top prospects representing the franchise in a showcase of the best young players in the game.

Right-handed starting pitcher and #2 overall Phillies prospect Mick Abel got the start in this game for the National League Prospects. Being managed by former Phillie legend Raul Ibanez, Abel tossed one inning, struck out two batters, and got the win in this game.

Centerfielder and the #4 overall Phillies’ prospect Justin Crawford made his mark on this game as well. Just 19 years old, and one year removed from playing in high school, Justin got to suit up with some of the best young players in the game. He went 0/2 in this one but he did drive in a run with a sac fly. 

It was cool to see some of the young Phillies represent the organization in this game. It shows that our farm system is drastically improving and that there are some good young players who will join the big league club in the coming years.

Phillies had two players and their manager at the 2023 MLB All-Star Game
The All-Star Game logo is seen on the field at T-Mobile Park during the national anthem before the baseball game in Seattle, Tuesday, July 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Exhibition Experts

Much like during the World Baseball Classic, the Phillies shined during Tuesday’s All-Star game.

A warm round of applause rang out when Rob Thomson, Nick Castellanos, and Craig Kimbrel were announced, and it looked like the entire group had a great time.

Nick Castellanos would be the first to make an impact on the mid-summer classic. Nick went 1/2 with a walk and a run scored. He was the tying run in this game. 

Craig Kimbrel would shut the door in this game, his first career save in the All-Star game. This was his 9th nomination into the game and just the first time he can say he saved the win in the All-Star game.

It certainly is easy to manage a team full of the best players in the game, but Rob Thomson made one move that proved to be the winning play.

Pinch-hitting Elias Diaz of the Colorado Rockies for Jorge Soler of the Miami Marlins, Diaz hit a go-ahead, 2-run home run, to give the National League the win.

Just like the Cristian Pache decision from this past Friday, Topper once again pulled a rabbit out of his hat.

Phillies manager Rob Thomson
Philadelphia Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson walks to exchange line ups before a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, June 3, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Diaz’s home run would be the difference as the NL would end their losing streak in the All-Star game. Rob Thomson joins Charlie Manuel and many other Phillies managers, who have taken home the win in the All-Star game.

This is just the latest notch on his belt as Rob Thomson has continued to earn achievements in his short managerial career.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson