As you know by now, Starlin Castro is the Cubs’ lone All-Star Game representative. It was a great morning for the kid out here. He had family members at the ballpark, and Mr. Cub himself, Ernie Banks, was here and he proclaimed Castro better than himself.
“It feels real good; I feel real excited to make it there,” Castro said in English. He had coach Ivan DeJesus by his side but chose to do the interview speaking English and without an interpreter’s help. “My family is real happy, too. Real special.”
The 21-year-old Castro becomes the youngest player in franchise history to be named to an all-star team. Greg Maddux was 22 when he was selected for the 1988 All-Star Game, but Maddux did not play. The youngest position player in franchise history to play in the All-Star Game was Ron Santo, who made the team at 23 in 1963.
UPDATES: Manager Mike Quade said after today's 3-1 win over the White Sox that Ryan Dempster will not make tomorrow night's start at Washington. Dempster was hospitalized last night for tests because of a stomach ailment. His back also tightened on him, so the Cubs decided to skip him. Dempster may be able to start at Pittsburgh later in the week. Casey Coleman will come up from Iowa to start Monday. The Cubs will send reliever Chris Carpenter to Iowa to make room for Coleman. With Dempster missing a start, that means all five Cubs starters have either been on the DL or have missed a start.
A couple of minor-league/draft notes. The Cubs have sent pitcher Hayden Simpson, their No. 1 pick from last year, from Class A Peoria back to Mesa. Simpson has had a rough go of it this year, and they felt sending him out every five days to take his lumps in the Midwest League was unfair. So they’ll let him regroup in Mesa. His stuff has been short, and I’m told he looks out of gas as he came into this season weakened from a bad case of mono last fall.
Also, third-round draft pick Zeke DeVoss, an outfielder out of the University of Miami, was at Wrigley this morning and taking batting practice. I’m told the Cubs are very close to signing him. DeVoss is said to be a 70 (in scout’s parlance) runner and a good on-base guy. He looks like a ballplayer, and he also looked to have a nice air of self-confidence about him.
Pitcher Ramon Ortiz was here this morning, and he threw a bullpen session. He will start Tuesday at Washington in place of Carlos Zambrano.