Dom Brown, Cliff Lee to Represent Phillies in 2013 All-Star Game

Dom Brown, Cliff Lee to Represent Phillies in 2013 All-Star Game

The results are in, and there are no real surprises here. Major League Baseball announced the participants for the 2013 All-Star Game on Saturday, and while no Phillies were voted in by the fans, two were deemed worthy of inclusion on the National League roster.

For Cliff Lee, this is nothing new. The 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner was named an All Star for the fourth time in six seasons, the lone exceptions coming last season and in ’09. It was something of a no-brainer, as it typically is with Lee. He ranks among the best pitchers in the NL with 10 wins (t-3rd), a 0.980 WHIP (5th), and 199 119 strikeouts (4th).

Lee faces stiff competition to start the game however. The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw leads the NL in earned run average and hits per nine innings, while young Mets’ hurler Matt Harvey is tops in WHIP and strikeouts, and has a potential home-town edge. The game is at Citi Field in New York.

For 25-year-old Domonic Brown, this is a special honor as a first-time selection – and the main attraction for Phillies fans who have been enjoying his breakout season.

Brown did not finish in the top 15 in fan voting, likely in large part due to his slow start and his relative anonymity nationally until he won back-to-back Player of the Week awards at the end of May. The numbers speak for themselves though, and it was hard to argue there were seven NL outfielders – the total on the roster – who are having better seasons.

Entering Saturday night, Brown was still second in home runs (22), as well as sixth in slugging (.549) and extra-base hits (39).

That’s not all for Brown. Jim Salisbury adds the newly-minted All-Star will participate in the home run derby if asked, which seems likely. This is a departure from roughly one month ago when in the midst of his hot streak Brown told reporters he would not do the event for fear it would alter his swing.

Phillies of note who did not make the cut include Jonathan Papelbon, who likely hurt his chances with a recent string of four blown saves in eight days, and Chase Utley who is posting very good numbers for a second baseman – arguably better than Marco Scutaro for San Francisco, who is on the team – but missed a month of the season. Giants manager Bruce Bochy is the NL manager.

There are no Phillies on the "Final Vote" ballot for fans online.

The mid-summer classic at is approaching fast, little more than a week away in fact. Will you be watching for Brown and Lee?

Howie Kendrick (oblique) finally ready to begin rehab assignment tonight

Howie Kendrick (oblique) finally ready to begin rehab assignment tonight

Phillies corner outfielder/infielder Howie Kendrick is finally nearing a return. He'll begin a rehab assignment tonight with Triple A Lehigh Valley.

Kendrick has been out since April 15 with an oblique strain. He did defensive work during the Phillies' road trip and has been taking outdoor batting practice at home this week.

Kendrick was off to a hot start when the oblique injury sent him to the DL. In 10 games, he went 13 for 39 (.333) with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs. He batted second all 10 games.

The Phillies are in a bad offensive funk and could use Kendrick's bat over Michael Saunders' right now. The Phils' 1-2 hitters were among the most productive in the majors in April, hitting close to .350 for the month. They're down to .282 on the season as Cesar Hernandez and Odubel Herrera have slumped in May.

With Clay Buchholz likely out for the season and Saunders providing little offense so far, the Phillies' trio of offseason veteran additions has not panned out through two months.

Supplement-free Lane Johnson heaviest he's ever been, feels he has much to prove

Supplement-free Lane Johnson heaviest he's ever been, feels he has much to prove

It's only natural to have some reservations about Lane Johnson after he was suspended for 10 games last season for his second violation of the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. One more positive test and the Eagles will lose their starting right tackle for two full years.

Fortunately, Johnson seems determined to avoid any future run-ins with the league. The 27-year-old changed his entire approach this offseason, cutting out negative influences or any other voices at all while preparing for the 2017 season.

"I just trained by myself back in Oklahoma," Johnson said after the Eagles' first full-team practice of OTAs on Tuesday. "Trained by myself and everything went good. I came back, my body weight is about 325, so I'm heavier than I've ever been. I feel in good shape, and I have a lot to prove, so it's a big year for me.

"I did everything by myself. There wasn't going to be any mishaps."

Two suspensions totaling 14 games later, Johnson has gained a healthy fear of being unknowingly steered toward an illegal supplement.

Johnson tested positive for PEDs before the season last year after taking a banned substance known as peptides and was eventually slapped with the full 10-game penalty after a lengthy appeal process. The fifth-year veteran always maintained peptides were not listed on the label of the offending supplement.

Johnson filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the players' association in November after the suspension was upheld. Its status is ongoing.

Johnson also served a four-game suspension in 2014.

When he's not in trouble with the league office, Johnson is a vital cog in the Eagles' offense. They went 5-1 with him and 2-8 without him last season.

"I feel like whenever I'm playing, I try to be the best right tackle in the NFL," Johnson said. "My deal is to just stay on the field, play a complete season, and I think it will be a big year for me."

Johnson isn't concerned about losing a competitive edge, physically or mentally, after dropping supplements altogether.

"I've always been the athlete that I am," Johnson said. "That's what I'll continue to prove. I'm gonna go play and show people what I can do."

Signed in January 2016 to a five-year contract extension worth $56 million, Johnson has plenty to prove. He was working out in place of 35-year-old left tackle Jason Peters, who wasn't at the start of OTAs, on Tuesday and is expected to one day replace the nine-time Pro Bowl selection permanently.

Despite his checkered past, it sounds like Johnson knows exactly what's on the line, which is why he chose to go it alone this offseason. The only person you can trust is yourself.

Then again, Johnson still has his vices, which might raise some eyebrows with the news he's up to 325 pounds — eight more than his listed weight.

"My big deal is cutting out the ice cream, the Ben & Jerry's late at night — the stuff you want to indulge in," Johnson said. "If you get me on an ice cream binge, it's not good."

The Eagles can probably deal with a little extra ice cream, just as long as Johnson remains committed to keeping dodgy supplements out of his body.