Bryce Harper replaces Giancarlo Stanton in All-Star Game

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Bryce Harper missed out when the original NL roster was announced, again on the Final Vote and again as the first two NL All-Stars went down, but he will go to Kansas City after all. He was chosen as the injured Giancarlo Stanton’s replacement on the NL roster Saturday, making him the youngest position player ever to go to an All-Star Game.

Stanton is also the fifth rookie on the roster, joining Mike Trout, Yu Darvish, Ryan Cook and Wade Miley. That’s another All-Star record.

The 19-year-old Harper is batting .283/.357/.478 with eight homers and 25 RBI in 244 at-bats since being called up by the Nationals. He spoke earlier this week about maybe preferring to rest over the All-Star break, but it should be a more interesting party with him around.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.