Major League Baseball posted the ballots for the 2016 All-Star Game on Sunday and the polls are open. Believe it or not, fans can begin voting for their favorite players to represent their team in the Midsummer Classic.
This year’s All-Star Game is in San Diego on July 12. And online voting ends on June 30 at 10:59pm CDT.
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Ben Zobrist, Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, Jorge Soler and Miguel Montero are on the ballot. The Cubs are encouraging fans to vote early and often.
According to a report from Carrie Muskat, Fowler is setting the tone for Cubs’ All-Star candidates. Fowler’s play is deserving of a spot on the NL squad. Rizzo is looking for his third straight trip to the All-Star Game, and Bryant his second.
Click here to vote the deserving Cubs players onto the National League All-Star team.
Tommy La Stella
Joe Maddon stuck to his plan Sunday and rested Dexter Fowler and Ben Zobrist while giving his bench guys valuable playing time. Maddon’s philosophy is he cannot ask a player to deliver a pinch-hit if that’s the only time he sees the field.
Tommy La Stella hit leadoff Sunday, playing second base and he delivered at the plate. La Stella sparked the offense. La Stella doubled to start the game and scored on a Jason Heyward single. La Stella doubled again in the second inning with two outs and scored on another Heyward single. To cap his three-hit day, La Stella popped his first longball of the season leading off the sixth. He’s now hitting .364/.391/.636 with three doubles and a home run for a 1.028 OPS in nine games (22 at bats).
And Tommy La Stella has a new nickname … ‘3 a.m.’
ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers picked up the La Stella ‘3 a.m.’ nickname after a comment Joe Maddon made about him in Spring Training. Maddon said that La Stella could roll out of bed at 3 a.m. and hit anyone in the league. The nickname has caught on and Maddon made reference to it again Sunday.
It takes contributions from every player on a big league roster for a team to reach its goals. And ‘3 a.m.’ has done his part so far this season when Maddon has called on him.
Sunday’s Post-Game Reports
The Cubs finished the seven-game road trip by taking three of four from the Reds … 5-2 through St. Louis and Cincinnati is an excellent week for Joe Maddon’s team. Here are the post-game reports for those that may have missed them Sunday evening.
- CCO Recap – Rizzo, Heyward and La Stella Hammel the Reds
- ESPN Chicago – Cubs use their depth in series deciding win over Reds
- The Sun-Times – Beep! Beep! Cubs are baseball’s hottest road runners
- The Sun-Times – Hammel on Cubs rotation: We want to be the backbone
- The Tribune – Anthony Rizzo sparks Cubs’ latest surge with two home runs in rout of Reds
- The Tribune – Jason Hammel’s start a bonus for deep Cubs rotation
Cubs-Brewers Probable Pitchers
The Cubs begin a six-game homestand Tuesday with the first of three against the Brewers. And the pitching matchups for the Brewers series were finalized Sunday.
The opener of the three-game set will be Kyle Hendricks versus RHP Jimmy Nelson on Tuesday night (7:05pm CDT). Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face RHP Taylor Jungmann in game two on Wednesday (7:05pm CDT). The series concludes Thursday afternoon (1:20pm CDT) with Jon Lester and RHP Zach Davies.
Unless there is a change, Joe Maddon will send John Lackey, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks to the hill in the three games with the Braves. That would lineup Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and John Lackey for the three games in Pittsburgh.
Tyson Ross and Carlos Carrasco
RHP Tyson Ross and RHP Carlos Carrasco are two of the controllable starters believed to be high on the Cubs list if the front office tries to make a deal for a pitcher before the Aug. 1 trade deadline. Both pitchers have injuries that could keep them from being traded this season.
The Padres received good news on Tyson Ross. The MRI on his right shoulder revealed no structural damage. Ross does not need surgery. Ross has not appeared in a game since Opening Day and has been shut down for a couple of weeks according to a report from Hardball Talk. It will take Ross at the very least a month to get back to where he was before landing on the disabled list once he cleared to begin throwing again. With the heavy price tag the Padres had on Ross in the off-season, it is highly unlikely a team will trade for him this season.
Terry Francona and the 9-7 Cleveland Indians received a big blow Sunday. The Indians are above .500 and swept the Tigers. But the Tribe lost RHP Carlos Carrasco to a hamstring injury.
Carrasco was off to a very good start to the season. Covering first base Sunday, he injured his left hamstring to the point he had to be helped off the field. Carrasco will officially be placed on the DL on Monday. Carrasco was already sent back to Cleveland and will have an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injury.
The Indians have been hesitant to trade any of their young pitching for a bat. The Cubs reportedly have shown significant interest in Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar.
News and Notes
• Buster Olney’s weekly power rankings: Cubs, Royals, Nationals, Orioles, Dodgers, White Sox, Cardinals, Mets, Rangers, Diamondbacks
• Gordon Wittenmyer reported that for the first time in franchise history three starters (Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and Jason Hammel) have opened a season 3-0.
• According to Mark Gonzales and Carrie Muskat, the Cubs first theme trip of the season will likely be to Pittsburgh (May 2-4). The Cubs begin a stretch Tuesday with 16 of 19 games at Wrigley. The only three games on the road are the series with the Pirates that begins next Monday night.
• Comcast SportsNet explained how Jason Heyward changes the way to think about free agents.
• Mark Gonzales talked to Reds’ shortstop Zack Cozart about what lies ahead for Kyle Schwarber. Cozart had the same surgery as Schwarber to repair the ACL and LCL ligaments. And he’s confident that Schwarber will make a full recovery.
• Buster Olney posed an interesting question over the weekend after talking to Jake Peavy. Should a team like the Rockies consider using a fourth outfielder?
And last, but not least … here are the walkup songs for the Iowa Cubs.
This Day in Cubstory
2006 – Cubs released Jamal Strong
1990 – Cubs signed free agents Chico Walker and Pat Sheridan
1990 – Playing for the Red Sox in his last season in baseball, Bill Buckner hit the final home run of his career, an inside the park home run in a 3-1 loss to the Angels.
1989 – The Cubs celebrated the 75th Anniversary of Wrigley Field with a 4-0 victory over the Dodgers. Bob Wright threw out the first pitch. Billy Williams, Billy Herman and Andy Pafko were among the former players that attended the celebration.
1978 – In a game against the Cubs at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, the Phillie Phanatic made its debut.
1976 – Cubs centerfielder Rick Monday rescued the U.S. flag in the fourth inning from two radicals trying to set it on fire in the outfield at Dodger Stadium.
1975 – Jacque Jones, born
1975 – Cubs signed free agent Eddie Watt
1969 – Padres traded Dick Selma to the Cubs for Frankie Libran, Joe Niekro and Gary Ross
1967 – Cubs traded a PTBNL and cash to the Indians for Dick Radatz. The Cubs sent Bob Raudman to the Indians on Nov. 21, 1967 to complete the trade.
1966 – Erik Pappas, born
1958 – Dave Owen, born
1907 – Roy Parmelee, born
1898 – Red Thomas, born
1896 – Marty Shay, born
1896 – Fred Haney, born
1892 – Pete Standridge, born
1876 – First game in franchise history … Albert Spalding pitched the first shutout in National League history in the 4-0 victory over Louisville. Paul Hines scored the first run in the second inning on a wild throw.