6/24 Extra bases
* Anthony Rizzo may not rank among the top five NL first basemen in the fan’s All-Star balloting but he got an endorsement from the Reds’ Joey Votto.
“Anthony’s made a big adjustment this year,” Votto said. “He’s always been a pretty excellent defender, and he’s always had the potential. It seems to me like he’s put it all together. He’s played like — he’s probably going to be an All-Star this year. He’s worthy of it.
“He’s played really quite well, and I hope he continues it because he’s set himself up this year for long-term success,” Votto said. “And I think the Cubs are probably pretty happy because they got him at a pretty fair price.”
Rizzo leads all NL first basemen in home runs, hitting his 16th on Monday, and trailed only the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen in walks entering Tuesday’s game.
* Jeff Samardzija doesn’t have the won-loss record that would justify being considered an All-Star, but Cubs manager Rick Renteria feels the right-hander should be on the NL team. Samardzija ranks seventh in the NL with a 2.53 ERA and also is seventh in strikeouts with 97. He just hasn’t gotten any run support. The right-hander has received one or less runs of support in eight of his 16 starts, and has a 2.82 ERA in those outings. He has a 1.63 ERA in eight starts at Wrigley Field, but is just 1-3 in those games.
“If the question is, would I recommend him? Yes,” Renteria said when asked if Samardzija should be on the All-Star team. “Would I be criticized for it? It really wouldn’t matter. He’s pitched extremely well. He’s among the top 10 pitchers in ERA. We haven’t scored a whole lot of runs for him.
“Is he an individual who deserves sincere consideration? Absolutely.”
* Emilio Bonifacio, on the disabled list with a right oblique strain since June 13, has yet to begin baseball activities as part of his rehab. Renteria said Bonifacio was making progress but there is no timetable for his return.
* Eli Whiteside, who was designated for assignment on Sunday to make room on the roster for Welington Castillo, has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Iowa. Whiteside was 3-for-25 in eight games with the Cubs.
– Carrie Muskat