Anthony Rizzo finished first in the balloting for the National League Final Vote.
Rizzo beat out Justin Morneau, Anthony Rendon, Casey McGehee, and Justin Upton to secure the first All-Star selection of his career. The 24-year-old has been excellent this season, batting .277/.386/.406 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI over 89 games.
Arismendy Alcantara went 4-for-5 with a triple, a double and three RBI as the Cubs beat the Reds 6-4 in 12 innings on Thursday.
Needing a homer for the cycle, Alcantara instead settled for an infield single in the 12th. He and Starlin Castro came around to score when Skip Schumaker couldn't grab Luis Valbuena's shot to the wall in right. Valbuena tried to turn it into an inside-the-park homer, only to get cut down at home plate (the appeal on whether Devin Mesoraco blocked the plate was denied). It was Alcantara who was the star, though. He had as many RBI today as Darwin Barney did in his last 24 games combined. the Cubs have indicated that Alcantara would return to Triple-A when Barney returned from the paternity list, but Alcantara is their best option at second base right now.
Chris Sale has won the All-Star Game Final Vote competition for the American League.
Sale beat out Rick Porcello, Corey Kluber, Dallas Keuchel, and Garrett Richards in the balloting. With a 2.08 ERA and 102/16 K/BB ratio over 95 innings, the 25-year-old southpaw is plenty deserving of the honor. He now has three straight All-Star selections.
Making his major league debut, Kyle Hendricks gave up four runs in six innings Thursday in a no-decision against the Reds.
Three of the runs came in the first. Hendricks walked the first two batters he faced, getting squeezed a couple of times, and went on to give up three hits in the frame. He settled down nicely afterwards, though he was doing so against one of the worst lineups any major league team will put on the field this year (Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, Devin Mesoraco and Billy Hamilton were all absent for various reasons). Hendricks ended up striking out seven, and he gave up just one walk after the first. He's not going to be a world beater with his below average fastball, but he should be able to hold his own and contribute in NL-only leagues.
Alex Gordon (wrist) will not participate in the All-Star Game.
Gordon was scratched from the Royals' lineup on Wednesday because of a sprained right wrist. The Royals are holding off on a DL decision for now, but we wouldn't be surprised if he misses the remainder of the first half at the very least.
Aroldis Chapman touched off a benches-clearing incident in Thursday's Cubs-Reds game after throwing some high-and-tight pitches during a scoreless ninth.
Chapman buzzed a couple of guys in a tie game, leading to much jawing in the Cubs dugout. Chapman tried to show the Cubs players up after the frame, smiling and waving his glove dismissively at that, and the jawing continued after Anthony Rizzo took his position at first base (near the Reds dugout) to begin the bottom of the ninth, leading to the incident. Chapman wasn't so much involved then, as Alfredo Simon instead thrust himself into the middle of the fracas. Fortunately, no punches were thrown and the series is now over, giving both sides some time to cool down.
Billy Hamilton was used as a pinch-hitter Thursday and flied out.
Hamilton didn't start because of a mild hamstring injury. He's still day-to-day.
Brandon Phillips will undergo left thumb surgery and is expected to miss around six weeks.
The exact nature of the injury isn't yet known, but it's apparently not as serious as Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who is expected to miss 8-12 weeks following thumb surgery. The Reds figure to look to Ramon Santiago as their primary second baseman for now.