The Phillies placed second baseman Chase Utley on the disabled list Tuesday with a strained thumb, which should open the door for the Braves’ Martin Prado to start the All-Star game in Anaheim.
Utley has had a commanding lead in the voting all along and was more than one million votes ahead of the second-place Prado in the latest tally released Tuesday. Prado was relying on National League manager Charlie Manuel to name him a reserve but now it seems Manuel will be doing more than that.
“He should have had it anyway,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said of a starting spot for Prado.
Prado was leading the National League with a .331 batting average and the majors in hits (108) heading into Tuesday night’s game. He seemed more concerned with Utley’s loss than his own personal gain and a chance to start the first All-Star game of his career.
“I haven’t even been thinking about that to be honest with you,” said Prado, who wasn’t even a full-time starter at second base until this season. “I’ve been thinking about my team….It’s a shame for Chase. For me he’s one of the best hitters and players in the National League.”
Prado has had a bigger source of excitement recently. His mother is scheduled to arrive in Atlanta from his native Venezuela on Wednesday and plans to spend the rest of the season in the U.S. on a six-month visa.
Prado said of anyone he’d want to accompany him to an All-Star game in Anaheim, it’s her.