The All-Star … and a Few Cubs Rumors

Starlin Castro entered the 82nd All-Star Game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Castro pinch ran for Troy Tulowitzki and remained in the game at short.

Starlin Castro stole second and third and became the first player to swipe two bags in an All-Star game since Kenny Lofton in 1996. Castro was thrown out at home on a contact play when Rickie Weeks tapped back to Jordan Walden (Angels).

At the plate, Castro was 0-for-1 in his first All-Star Game (struck out swinging against Brandon League). In the field, Castro committed a throwing error in the ninth.

Starlin Castro threw out Paul Konerko at first base to end the 82nd All-Star Game. The Senior Circuit beat the Junior Circuit 5-1.

Brett Jackson, Ryan Flaherty, Jae-Hoon Ha, Matt Szczur and others will be wearing new jerseys when play down on the farm resumes. The Smokies open a six-game series on the road against the Mississippi Braves on Wednesday night … and the new-look I-Cubs kickoff a four-game series against Oklahoma in Des Moines on Thursday.

The Triple-A All-Star Game is Wednesday night. Bryan LaHair, John Gaub and Welington Castillo will represent the I-Cubs at the 24th annual Triple-A All-Star Game. LaHair is the starting first baseman for the Pacific Coast League and the game will be carried live on the MLB Network from Salt Lake City beginning at 8:00pm CDT.

And there is a team that is interested in trading for Koyie Hill … here’s the update.

Chattin’ with Bruce Levine
Mr. Talkin’ Baseball held his weekly chat on ESPNChicago, here are the highlights …

  • Levine has not heard about the Pirates possible interest in Carlos Pena but he has heard about the Pirates possible interest in Aramis Ramirez.
  • Levine said Hendry would be willing to move either Pena or Ramirez “if they could get some ready-made players back.”
  • Levine thinks Aramis Ramirez will still be with the Cubs by August 1 despite the fact the Cubs have received a lot of inquiries about him.
  • The Cubs would like to trade Alfonso Soriano. Levine indicated a deal would not have to be done by the deadline to move Soriano … Soriano could be dealt in August like Derrek Lee was a year ago.
  • Levine has heard the Giants are interested in Koyie Hill.
  • Brian Harper thinks Ryan Flaherty could be a starter at the big league level. Flaherty has played every position but pitcher and catcher for Harper this season according to Levine.
  • The Cubs will not trade Matt Garza.
  • According to Levine, there is a good chance Brett Jackson will be the Cubs starting centerfielder by August 1.
  • With the way the team has performed this season, no one’s job is too secure at this point according to Levine … and that includes Mike Quade.
  • Aramis Ramirez may be back next season but there is no chance Kosuke Fukudome returns.

Brett Jackson, Ryan Flaherty and Moves Down on the Farm
The Cubs will formally announce several roster moves down on the farm by Thursday. The most notable are Brett Jackson and Ryan Flaherty to Iowa, Jae-Hoon Ha to Tennessee and Matt Szczur to Daytona.

According to Bruce Miles, “depending on what deals the Cubs make, it’s possible you’ll see Jackson, LeMahieu and/or Flaherty in Chicago this season.”

Well, there’s the update on the slowest sports day of the year … and I’m sticking to it.

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Quote of the Day

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." – Arthur Ashe