CHICAGO - Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was today elected to the 2014 National League All-Star team. Castro has earned the third All-Star selection of his major league career. Castro will represent the Cubs at the 85th Major League All-Star Game Tuesday, July 15 at Minnesota's Target Field. 

Like Castro, right-handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija was elected to the N.L. squad by way of the player vote. Due to his election, Samardzija is eligible to attend and participate in All-Star activities and will receive full National League All-Star honors and recognition. However, he will be ineligible to play for the National League team in the 85th All-Star Game.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo is one of five players up for vote on the N.L.'s 2014 All-Star Game Final Vote ballot. The ballot, sponsored by Experian, will determine the 34th roster spot for the N.L. Fans can now begin to vote to select the final player for each league's roster via, and on their mobile phones (fans may text the choice "N4" to 89269 to vote for Rizzo). Voting concludes at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday, July 10. 

The 24-year-old Castro becomes only the third shortstop in franchise history to be selected to at least three All-Star teams, joining Ernie Banks (nine times as a shortstop) and Don Kessinger (six times). Castro is one of only six shortstops to be named an All-Star in franchise history, joining the aforementioned Banks and Kessinger, Billy Jurges (once), Woody English (once) and Shawon Dunston (twice), who was the most-recent Cubs shortstop to earn All-Star recognition (in 1990) leading up to Castro's first All-Star season in 2011.

In 2011, Castro became the youngest player in franchise history to be named to an All-Star team at the age of 22. In 2012, Castro became the first Cubs shortstop to be named to the All-Star team in consecutive seasons since Don Kessinger's five-year run from 1968-72. Castro, Dunston and Kessinger are the only three Cubs shortstops to earn All-Star honors in the last 50 years.

Castro entered play on Sunday batting .290 (98-for-338) with 26 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs and 50 RBI while starting every game at shortstop for the club this season. He entered the day leading all major league shortstops with 38 extra-base hits and was one of only four players in all of baseball with 12 games of three or more hits. 

Samardzija, 29, departed the Cubs with a 2-7 record and a 2.83 ERA (34 ER/108.0 IP) in 17 starts this season. This is Samardzija's first-career All-Star honor. He is the first right-handed pitcher to earn All-Star honors for the Cubs since Ryan Dempster, Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood and Carlos Zambrano were all named to the N.L. team in 2008.

The 24-year-old Rizzo entered play on Sunday leading all National League first basemen with 17 home runs and was tied for the National League lead with 14 home runs since April 30. He ranked first among league first basemen in walks (50), tied for first with 16 go-ahead RBI and was fourth with an .873 OPS. Overall, Rizzo was batting .274 (84-for-307) with 13 doubles, one triple, 17 home runs and 45 RBI in 84 games.

Besides utilizing the web to vote for the final player for each league's 34-man roster, fans can use their mobile phones to cast votes via the mobile web at or via text message. To receive the All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Experian mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote specifically for Rizzo, fans can text the choice "N4" to 89269. Standard message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.