All-Star Heroics May Come Down to Rizzo and Castro

All-Star Heroics May Come Down to Rizzo and Castro
Anthony Rizzo, destroyer of baseballs.

As I watched Jeff Samardzija in a pitcher's duel against Felix Hernandez in Seattle, there were a few things that catalyzed tonight's topic other than those two very impressive gentlemen eating quality innings against each other.  I saw the Rays getting pummeled late by the Toronto Blue Jays and wondered whom the Rays' lone representative would be, and then realized, duh, it's David Price.   I did have to look it up first, though, and this list doesn't include the latest injury replacement with Ian Kinsler for Victor Martinez just yet, but it's fairly complete for now.  I'm sure they'll add a few guys depending on who pitches on Sunday.

As you know, Starlin Castro was picked as a reserve by his peers, and Anthony Rizzo won the Final Vote to earn his invite:

Based on the starters and roster and how the substitution patterns usually pan out, Rizzo and Castro probably won't see action until the sixth or seventh inning.  Now, if the game is close or the National League is behind, that means there's a chance that a Cubs All-Star will come up in a high-leverage situation either on offense or defense.  With Castro's improving defense at shortstop and Rizzo's already stellar defense at first base (recent gaffes notwithstanding) the defensive portion should be taken care of, although you never know who's going to be the next Dan Uggla in the field.

The one thing I notice about the guys picked to pitch for the American League (both sides, really) is that they don't like walking opposing batters and they enjoy striking guys out, which obviously is what makes a good pitcher.  Rizzo and Castro have a good ability to make contact, though, and they also can hit with some pop (especially Rizzo).  Now it's not appropriate to judge these guys on the one or two at-bats they'll likely have towards the end of the game, but they have as good a chance as any of making an impact for their squad with the skillsets that they bring.  Tuesday night is going to be a fun game with the Cubs All-Stars likely closing out the contest in Minnesota.

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