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updated: 7/6/2014 8:19 PM

Cubs' Castro an all-star; Rizzo too?

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  • Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is headed to the All-Star game for the third time in four seasons.

      Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is headed to the All-Star game for the third time in four seasons.
    Associated Press

  • Jeff Samardzija, who won in his debut for Oakland on Sunday, won't be able to play in the All Star Game because of when he was traded from the Cubs to the A's.

      Jeff Samardzija, who won in his debut for Oakland on Sunday, won't be able to play in the All Star Game because of when he was traded from the Cubs to the A's.
    Associated Press

 
 

For Starlin Castro, it's an all-star charm.

For Jeff Samardzija, he's in all-star limbo.

Cubs shortstop Castro learned Sunday that he had made this third National League all-star team as a reserve. Samardzija earned a first invitation to the All-Star Game, but there's one little problem: He was traded by the Cubs to the American League's Oakland Athletics this past weekend.

Although Samardzija will be eligible to go to Minneapolis for the July 15 All-Star Game and participate in the festivities, he will not be eligible to play in the game.

Cubs first baseman Anthony is one of five players up for the fan vote for the final NL spot.

For Castro and Rizzo, this marks the first half of bounce-back seasons for both. Castro has a batting line of .287/.332/.465 with 11 home runs and a team-leading 51 RBI. His batting average leads Cubs regulars, and he leads the team in doubles and hits.

"Awesome," he told reporters in Washington, where the Cubs lost 2-1 Sunday to the Nationals. "Everybody in my family is happy, too. I called them right away."

Castro, 24, made National League all-star teams in 2011 and 2012. Last year, his numbers tailed off to .245/.284/.347 with 10 homers and 44 RBI.

Rizzo's line is .276/.384/.487 with 17 homers and 45 RBI. Last year, he went .233/.323/.419 with 23 homers and 80 RBI.

He is up against Justin Morneau, Anthony Rendon, former Cub Casey McGehee and Justin Upton in online voting, which ends at 3 p.m. CDT Thursday at mlb.com.

"It's going to be the fans' vote," Rizzo told reporters. "I'm sure we're going to do everything we can with the Cubs to push it, but we'll see what happens."

Minor league honors:

Third-base prospect Kris Bryant and Kane County Cougars pitcher Juan Paniagua are the Cubs' minor league player and pitcher of the month, for June, respectively.

Bryant, the Cubs' top draft pick last year, recently was promoted from Class AA Tennessee to Class AAA Iowa.

He combined to hit .354 (34-for-96) with 24 runs, 8 doubles, 11 home runs and 27 RBI in 26 games between the two clubs. He walked 17 times to contribute to a .447 on-base percentage, and had a .781 slugging percentage to produce a 1.228 OPS.

Bryant's 11 home runs in June led all of minor-league baseball while his 19 extra-base hits tied for second and 27 RBI tied for third.

Paniagua, 24, posted an 0.89 ERA (2 earned runs in 20⅓ innings) and a 3-0 record in four games (3 starts) for Kane County in June. He allowed just 4 runs (2 earned), walked five and struck out 26, good for an average of 11.5 strikeouts per 9 innings. Paniagua surrendered just 1 home run and limited opponents to a .194 batting average (14-for-72).

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