Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 7/6/13
ST. LOUIS, Mo. MattCarpenter, Allen Craig, Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina are in. So is AdamWainwright, with an asterisk. Don't rule out Edward Mujica, Shelby Miller,Lance Lynn or Trevor Rosenthal just yet, either.And there you go. With fiveplayers named to the National League All-Star team Saturday and a possibility anothercould be added, the Cardinals will be well represented in the July 16exhibition, uh, game at Citi Field."We're very proud of thisgroup and they will represent us very well," manager Mike Matheny said.Wainwright, voted in bythe players, will attend the festivities but not pitch inthe game after the club adjusted the rotation to give him two more starts beforethe break. Instead of starting Wednesday, as had been scheduled, Wainwrightwill go Tuesday against the Astros and then against the Cubs at Wrigley Fieldon July 14, the last day before the break. Both starts will be on regular rest.But because of a rulethat prohibits pitchers who start the Sunday before the All-Star game fromappearing in the game, Wainwright will be limited to spectating in New York. Hegladly traded his chance to appear in the game for an extra start."It's cool to pitch in the(All-Star) game but what's more important is what is going on inside thisclubhouse," Wainwright said.If he thought he had arealistic chance to start the game, however, his decision would not have been soeasy. But NL manager Bruce Bochy is said to be leaning heavily towardsstarting Matt Harvey, the ace for the host team Mets."When I made it in 2010,I pitched the seventh inning," Wainwright said. "When they're listing myaccolades, they don't say 'made the 2010 All-Star game and pitched the seventhinning.' They just say 2010 All-Star. Right?"Would I rather have twostarts and try to help this team win two more games or pitch the seventhinning? I'm taking the two games every time."Moving Wainwright up aday benefits the Cardinals in more than one way. Besides getting the added startfrom their ace, pushing rookie Shelby Miller from Tuesday to Wednesday will allowhim an opportunity for a mid-season break of up to two weeks depending on wherehe's slotted after the break. "He'll be getting somerest and saving those bullets for down the stretch," Wainwright said. "I'mperfectly OK with that. I let them know right from the start where mypriorities are and that's in this clubhouse."Because Wainwright wontpitch in the game, Bochy will choose an additional pitcher to take his spot onthe roster. Might that be a Cardinal? They have no shortage of qualifiedcandidates, including Mujica, Miller, Lynn and, if the NL truly is seriousabout winning, Rosenthal."You've got five guysgoing already so you think he's probably going to go a different route," Wainwright said. "But we have guys that are very deserving."The selections ofCarpenter, voted in as a backup by the players, and Craig, a manager'sselection, drew nice rounds of applause when Matheny made the announcements ina team meeting following the Cardinals 5-4 walk-off victory over the Marlins."We had all some goodcheers," Carpenter said. "It was a lot of fun. To win in the fashion we did andcome in here and celebrate five guys on our team making the All-Star team, it'squite a day."In his first season asboth a second baseman and an everyday player, Carpenter ranks top five in theNL in runs, hits and on-base percentage and top 10 in batting average. Eventhough he owned deserving credentials, he was anything but certain he wouldmake the team."I'd be lying if I didn'tsay I was thinking about it," said Carpenter, who last month made plans to spendthe break at his home in Texas."Honestly, I had no idea.I know how many great players there are in this league and how hard it is to dothis. I didn't expect anything. I would be completely understanding if Ididn't. It's a real thrill."Craig, the N.L. lead inhitting with runners in scoring position and top five in RBIs and battingaverage, was chosen as a managers selection ahead of Braves first basemanFreddie Freeman and the Dodgers Adrian Gonzalez.The numbers favor Craig,who is hitting .325.370.491 with 10 homers and 68 RBIs. Freeman was hitting.309.385.468 with nine homers and 56 RBIs going into Saturday night. Gonzalezwas at .300.353.492 with 13 homers and 53 RBIs before the Dodgers gameagainst the Giants. Freeman and Gonzalez both were named to the final votecompetition, though their chances of beating out Dodgers rookie sensation YasielPuig aren't good.Beltran, making anAll-Star team for the eighth time, and Molina, a five-timer, were voted by fansinto the starting lineup. Molina was the leading vote-getter among NL players,deserving recognition for the leagues leading hitter and premier defender. Beltran, who spent six and a half seasons with the Mets, was the top vote-getter among NL outfielders."I have a lot of fansthat love me over there. There's no doubt about that," said Beltran, who said aright oblique issue could keep him out of the home run contest. "And I havesome fans that don't want to see me. I guess you have to take the good and thebad."For Beltran and the Cardinals,the All-Star selections leaned toward the good.You can follow StanMcNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at stanmcneal@gmail.com.
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