The Philadelphia Phillies may have been off on Thursday, as they prepare to begin a three-game road set against the Miami Marlins on Friday, but huge news leaked that will surely bring much excitement to the city ... seven years from now.
In the latest edition of "Phillies Notes," we look at the upcoming announcement, a transaction and former organization players inking contracts with the now-defunct Camden Riversharks' former league.
Phillies, MLB to Announce Philadelphia as Host of 2026 All-Star Game
The Phillies will host the Major League Baseball All-Star Game — for the first time since the bicentennial and 1996 (both at the Vet) — to celebrate America's 250th birthday. It will be Citizens Bank Park's first All-Star Game since it opened in 2004.
NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman wrote that the Phillies "hadn’t really pursued previous All-Star Games during the ballpark’s existence because of the plan to hold it here for another milestone in the nation’s history." The Phillies had talked about hosting the 2026 All-Star Game "as far back as 2004," according to Salisbury.
On Tuesday at a press and fan event, the club and MLB will announce the City of Philadelphia as the 2026 host of the Mid-Summer Classic. The 2 p.m. event will take place on Market Street, between 5th and 6th Streets, with Independence Hall as the backdrop
The following will be in attendance: Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Commissioner of Baseball; Tom Wolf, Governor of Pennsylvania; Jim Kenney, Mayor, City of Philadelphia; John Middleton, Phillies Managing Partner; current and former Phillies players; Broadcaster Tom McCarthy; Phillies Public Address Announcer Dan Baker; Phillie Phanatic and Phillies Ballgirls.
According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Phillies and MLB are making "such an early announcement" is because the club is "trying to persuade all of the major sports to have their All Star Game in the city for the nation’s 250th celebration, including all of the top entertainers."
Coincidentally, the 2026 All-Star game will be the exact halfway point of Bryce Harper's 13-year contract. As Dave Uram notes, the Phillies missed out on an opportunity for Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels to represent the Phillies and city, similar to what Harper did in D.C. last summer.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will host the 2020 game. The 2021 through 2025 hosts are still unknown.
Thursday afternoon, the Phillies announced they had optioned RHP Edubray Ramos to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Ramos had retired just 12 of his 19 batters faced; spanning four innings and as many appearances, the right-hander has allowed four singles, one double, one home run, five runs (four earned), and three walks.
The Phillies will announce a corresponding move prior to Friday's series opener in Miami. Philly.com's Matt Breen speculates RHP Victor Arano could be called up. Arano allowed 20 runs on 17 hits, four home runs and seven walks in just four innings this past spring training, but so far at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, he has allowed just one of his 13 batters faced to reach base (walk). Also, the right-hander has seven strikeouts spanning his three scoreless appearances and four innings.
Welcome to the Party!— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 11, 2019
On August 15, @diplo will perform an on-field postgame concert at Citizens Bank Park.
Your game ticket is also your concert ticket with concert field pass upgrades available to purchase: https://t.co/YwcTyTryxI pic.twitter.com/SYoCxu05di
Valentin Joins Atlantic League of Professional Baseball
Infielder Jesmuel Valentin's major league career lasted all but 46 games last season with the Phillies. In 89 plate appearances, he slashed just .177/.258/.304 with seven singles, five doubles, one triple, one home run, six RBI and eight walks, while striking out 24 times.
On Thursday, Valentin, a former first-round pick, signed with the High Point Rockers of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Former Phillies catching prospect (2013-14) Corey Bass also signed with the league's York Revolution.
Update, 4/12, 6 p.m.: Since the Atlantic League's Thursday afternoon announcement, the Baltimore Orioles have swooped in and inked Valentin to a minor-league pact, notes their Double-A affiliate.
Valentin played third base, second base, shortstop, left field and right field, and even pitched one inning last season; he was designated for assignment to make room for Pedro Florimon on the 40-man roster on Sept. 1, and three days later was sent outright to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after passing through waivers. He never returned to the majors, and was unable to ink a deal with another MLB club for 2019.
The Phillies acquired the Puerto Rico native on August 16, 2014, from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for RHP Roberto Hernandez.