Chicago Cubs' Maddon says being all-star helps young players

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. (5) is greeted at the dugout by manager Joe Maddon, left, and bench coach Brandon Hyde after Almora Jr., score on a single by Anthony Rizzo during the third inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Saturday, June 30, 2018, in Chicago.

    Chicago Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. (5) is greeted at the dugout by manager Joe Maddon, left, and bench coach Brandon Hyde after Almora Jr., score on a single by Anthony Rizzo during the third inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Saturday, June 30, 2018, in Chicago.

 
 
Updated 7/1/2018 7:07 PM

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he'd like young players such as Albert Almora Jr. and Javier Baez to make the all-star team for the first time.

They, along with Sunday's starting pitcher, Jon Lester, appear to be the Cubs' best bets to send someone to Washington for the July 17 All-Star Game.

 

"It's pretty spectacular when that does occur," Maddon said. "Young player making your way in the game being recognized in that manner matters a lot. I think it's one of those things where it can push somebody further along in their career mentally as much as anything.

"I'd like to see our guys get that opportunity. Definitely we have several guys who are deserving. You would think that they would want the time off, but they really do want to participate."

Ouch, not again:

Shortstop Addison Russell left Sunday's 11-10 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the sixth inning. He caught Eduardo Escobar's foul pop down the left-field line but got tangled up with third baseman Javier Baez, who stepped on Russell's left hand.

It just so happens Russell had his left middle finger stepped on, the same finger that bothered him earlier this season. Joe Maddon said he's hopeful Russell can play Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers at Wrigley Field.

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Entering the Derby:

Joe Maddon said he is not opposed to any of his players taking part in the Home Run Derby as part of the All-Star Game festivities.

"It gives me something to do on that Monday night," he said. "I'll be watching that. I have no issues, especially our guys not being long in the tooth. I think they can handle something like that.

"With Javy (Baez) our participant, for example, I think people would really enjoy that as much as he would. I don't worry about stuff like that."

Maddon said he does not believe the contest can mess up a player's swing.

"It's a nice narrative to prevent people from wanting to do it," he said. "I do think there's a fatigue factor, though. I don't think it screws up your swing necessarily. I don't believe that."

Duensing to the DL:

The Cubs placed left-handed reliever Brian Duensing on the 10-day disabled list with left-shoulder fatigue and recalled right-hander Dillon Maples from Class AAA Iowa.

Duensing has been hit around lately. He is 2-0 with a 6.92 ERA and a WHIP of 1.85.

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