The Daily CCO: Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo are All-Stars

The National League and American League square off in the 85th All-Star Game Tuesday night at Target Field. And the Cubs’ two young infielders will be in the Senior Circuit’s dugout.

Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo took part in media day and were on the field Monday night for the Home Run Derby. Both players rebounded nicely from down seasons and deserve to be part of the All-Star Game.

Starlin Castro will take part in his third All-Star Game, and he just turned 24 in February. Depending on how Mike Matheny decides to play his reserves, Castro could be the first Cubs player to appear in an All-Star Game since 2012 when he was the Cubs lone representative in the game.

Anthony Rizzo is taking part in his first Midsummer Classic. Rizzo took a big step forward last week in Cincinnati to becoming the leader of the team. Rizzo said Monday that he and Aroldis Chapman put Thursday’s incident behind them.

PrintAnd depending on how Matheny’s uses pinch-hitters and his reserves, Castro and Rizzo could be hitting three-four in the NL lineup late in the game. Troy Tulowitzki is hitting third and Paul Goldschmidt is hitting fourth in the starting line-up for the National League.

The Cubs technically have three representatives in the Midsummer Classic. Jeff Samardzija pitched his way onto the NL squad in a Cubs uniform, but two days before the All-Star Game rosters were announced, he was traded to Oakland. Samardzija will be introduced with the National League team and he will wear a NL jersey during introductions. Samardzija will spend the game in the AL dugout and is not allowed to pitch.

C.J. Edwards, Justin Steele, and Carson Sands

C.J. Edwards announced on his Twitter account early Tuesday morning that he will be back on the mound on July 23. It appears Edwards will pitch in a game for the AZL Cubs that day. The Cubs have not made an announcement or provided an update on Edwards.

Justin Steele, the Cubs fifth round pick in last month’s draft, made his professional debut Monday night. And according to reports from the park, he was pretty good. Steele struck out the side with a fastball that was in the 92 mph range with an effective curveball in the 73-74 mph range.

Carson Sands made his second appearance with the AZL Cubs and retired the side in order with two strikeouts. A report from the park indicated Sands’ fastball was in the 91-92 mph range and he featured an effective change-up and curveball.

Kyuji Fujikawa

Kyuji Fujikawa pitched in his fourth game for the AZL Cubs on Monday night. Fujikawa struck out a batter in a scoreless inning of work. Fujikawa has pitched one inning per outing and he’s given up one hit and walked one batter while striking out five.

Kyuji Fujikawa officially began his rehab assignment on July 6 and, by rule, he can be on a rehab assignment for 30 days before he has to be activated or agree to extend his rehab assignment.

The Cubs have not announced when the team expects Fujikawa to progress to another affiliate in the system.

News and Notes

The Yankees parted ways with Alfonso Soriano Monday. Soriano was released after the Yankees designated him for assignment on July 6. Alfonso Soriano is now a free agent and can sign with any team.

The Diamondbacks announced Monday that Trevor Cahill is back with the big league team and he will start the first game after the break against the Cubs. The pitching match-ups for the three games after the All-Star Game are: Edwin Jackson vs. Trevor Cahill (Friday), Travis Wood vs. Wade Miley (Saturday) and Jake Arrieta vs. Josh Collmenter (Sunday).

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This Day In Cubstory

1997 – Cubs traded Frank Castillo to the Rockies for Matt Pool

1988 – Cubs released Jim Sundberg

1986 – Cubs released Steve Lake

1984 – Cubs traded a PTBNL and Chuck Rainey to the Athletics for a PTBNL. Oakland sent Davey Lopes to the Cubs on Aug. 31, 1984 to complete the trade. Cubs sent Damon Farmer to Oakland on March 18, 1985 to complete Cubs end of the trade.

1975 – Bill Madlock singled in the ninth inning with the bases loaded and gave the NL a 6-3 victory over the AL in the All-Star Game at Milwaukee’s County Stadium

1960 – Cubs traded Earl Averill and cash ($30-35,000) to the Brewers for Al Heist

1945 – Cubs swept the Giants 5-3, and 7-2, behind Hank Wyse and Hy Vandenberg in front of 43,803 fans at Wrigley Field

1942 – Cubs relief pitcher Hi Bothorn whirled toward the Dodgers dugout and fired a ball at manager Leo Durocher’s head during the fifth inning at Wrigley Field. Lou Novikoff and Jimmie Foxx homered for the Cubs, but the Dodgers won 10-5. Ex-Cubs Billy Herman homered and Kirby Higbe picked up the win. Another former Cubs pitcher, Hugh Casey pitched in relief.

1932 – Cubs purchased Frank Demaree from Sacramento (PCL)

1923 – Barney Friberg hit a grand slam in the 10th inning to beat the Giants 9-5. The win gave Grover Alexander a 29028 record against the Giants.

1916 – Cubs purchased Chuck Wortman from Kansas City (American Association) for $8,000 plus two PTBNL

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Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver