07/13/2003 3:52 PM ET
Castillo gets All-Star call
Second baseman gets the good news in Montreal
Rosters: AL | NL
By Pierre Moussette / MLB.com
MONTREAL -- Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo was added to Dusty Baker's NL All-Star squad on Sunday afternoon.
Last year's Marlins' MVP will be making his second consecutive appearance at the Midsummer Classic.
With Castillo's addition to the NL team, the Marlins will have three representatives at the All-Star Game for the first time since 1997, the year of their long world title, when Charles Johnson, Moises Alou and Gary Sheffield represented Florida.
Castillo entered Sunday's game among the National League's top 10 in a couple offensive categories. His .314 batting average places him ninth in the league and he ranks seventh in hits with 100. He has hit over .300 each of his last three seasons.
The speedy infielder is also tied for 11th with 14 stolen bases and tied for 12th with 60 runs scored.
On two occasions, Castillo captured the NL stolen bases title with 62 in 2000 and 48 last season.
Defensively, Castillo is having a season that is establishing him as a legitimate Gold Glove candidate. He is tops among NL second basemen with 270 assists and has a .977 fielding percentage. The double-play combination of Castillo and shortstop Alex Gonzalez is one of the best in the game.
Having to catch a 5:40 p.m. flight from Montreal to Chicago after a lengthy game, Castillo, Mike Lowell, Dontrelle Willis and Montreal's Jose Vidro had to leave the stadium by the eighth inning and were unavailable to speak to the media, but many Marlins were eager to talk about Florida's newest All-Star.
"It's nice, I'm very happy for him," Ivan Rodriguez said of Castillo's news. "All those guys deserve it. Castillo's a great player, he's already a superstar, I'm very happy for him."
"He's one of the best second baseman in baseball," Mike Mordecai said. "He deserves to go there, good for him."
"It's very good to see guys who are deserving go to the All-Star game," Juan Pierre added. "When you see the guy every day, it's rewarding to see him make it."
Castillo got the good news during a stoppage in play in Montreal, where home-plate umpire Marty Foster was hit by a pitch and was forced to leave on a stretcher.
It seems that the announcement was a little unexpected for some, although earlier in the week, Marlins skipper Jack McKeon said he wouldn't be surprised if Castillo were added.
"I'll be honest, I had no idea," Mordedcai added. "I heard it for the first time during the game."
Earlier this month, Baker placed Castillo on the ballot for the 32nd Man Competition but Internet voters on MLB.com elected Milwaukee's Geoff Jenkins. Castillo finished fifth in the voting.
Castillo will replace Atlanta's Marcus Giles, who has hardly played since Thursday, when he suffered a mild concussion after a collision with Chicago's Mark Prior.
Baker will now have to decide whether to start Castillo or Vidro, the other second baseman on the NL team.
Pierre Moussette is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.