The All-Star Game is tonight at 7pm (CST) on Fox. Starlin Castro will head into the game when Troy Tulowitzki exits.
- The Cubs’ top positional prospect, center fielder Brett Jackson, and utility prospect Ryan Flaherty, have each been promoted from AA to AAA Iowa according to WGN Radio producer Brian Bedo. Jackson, 22, has had an up and down year, including about a month missed with a pinky injury. His current line stands at .260/.376/.450 with 10 homers. Flaherty, 24, has a .301/.384/.523 line this year, with 14 homers. He’s seen time at every position except C, P, and CF. The moves, I would expect, are slightly less about getting these guys experience against tougher competition (the Cubs would be content to bring them straight up to the bigs if there were a need), and more about opening up a couple spots for promotions to AA.
- Paul Sullivan does his annual “wacky trades” mailbag, though many of the suggestions by readers were downright reasonable. One gripe: Sullivan argues that the Rays would not want Carlos Pena in a trade because they didn’t re-sign him after the 2010 season. There are any number of reasons why the Rays might not want to *pay* Pena $10 million at the start of the 2011 season, but then, after three and a half months, might want to *trade* for him (which trade could include the Cubs eating some of his salary). That’s just a silly point, Mr. Sullivan. Wacky, even.
- Ryne Sandberg says the All-Star Game was never a hassle to him, and he considered it an honor and a privilege to be selected. It is pretty hard to imagine players in the ’70s and ’80s (to say nothing of the decades before) passing on the All-Star Game because it was an inconvenience (and, no, this is not a shot at Aramis Ramirez – lots of players do it now).
- Starlin Castro wants to be a Hall of Famer. Good.