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Friday, June 29, 2012
Cubs' Castro, Soriano to get All-Star plugs

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- Last place teams like the Chicago Cubs sometimes don’t get their best player into the All-Star Game, but instead are represented by the player that best fits the need of the National or American League roster.

Another thing last-place teams don’t often get is multiple players into the All-Star Game.

So if National League manager Tony LaRussa comes calling to find out the Cubs’ most worthy representative, Dale Sveum will recommend Starlin Castro and/or Alfonso Soriano.

It probably doesn’t come down to that, though. Castro is the obvious choice and his numbers say he should be the NL starter at shortstop, but the Cardinals’ Rafael Furcal appears to have locked down that honor.

Castro, who leads NL shortstops in batting average (.301) and hits (93), is expected to be headed to Kansas City for the July 10 game as a backup.

Soriano probably doesn’t make it, but just forcing him into the All-Star conversation shows the amount of respect Sveum has for his left fielder, who revived his season in mid-May and who is a steadying influence in the clubhouse.

“Yeah, I mean Castro or probably Soriano are probably the two guys that would be high on the list,” Sveum said. “That's pretty much it with (Ryan) Dempster being hurt. He would have obviously been a no-brainer if he'd been healthy the whole time.”