Adduci, Maestri Excel in All-Star Game

VIERA, Fla. — All five players from Class-A Daytona that were named to the 2008 Florida State League All-Star Game at Space Coast Stadium saw playing time in the event on Saturday.

In spite of a 9-3 defeat for the East All-Stars, the game was productive for two Cubs prospects in particular – outfielder Jim Adduci and pitcher Alex Maestri.

Adduci, who finished 2-for-4, connected for a single on the first pitch he saw from West Division starter and Detroit Tigers prospect Rick Porcello. He later ripped a double, taking advantage of a Rob Delaney offering in the ninth inning.

"You're so used to hitting against a guy and going two or three at-bats against him and making adjustments," Adduci said afterward. "But tonight, every inning it was a new guy with new stuff. It was definitely interesting but fun, too."

The 23-year-old Adduci has batted over .300 all year, and his .311 average through 59 games this season ranks near the top of the league.

Maestri used his one inning to prove his All-Star ballot was rightly deserved, facing four batters and striking out two. He gave up a walk but allowed no runs.

In 13 appearances including 12 starts this season, the 23-year-old Italy native has five wins and a 3.68 ERA to go with 52 strikeouts. It is his first full season as a starting pitcher after previously spending two seasons in relief.

"He threw the ball with a lot of confidence and it's nice to see a pitcher go out there and throw with that mindset," Mike Guerrero, the East Division manager and Brevard County Manatees skipper, said of Maestri.

Maestri put up a goose egg for one inning. In general, the East Division struggled to keep the West Division's bats quiet, as Daytona reliever Casey Lambert would find out in the sixth inning.

Lambert pitched only one inning, yielding three runs and striking out one. The 22-year-old left-hander and sixth-round draft pick from Virginia in 2006 ended the first half with 11 saves and a 2.70 ERA.

Adduci and second baseman Tony Thomas started the game, hitting second and ninth in the lineup, respectively. Mark Reed, who replaced Welington Castillo on the All-Star roster when Castillo was promoted to Double-A, saw playing time behind the plate but not until the eighth inning. Thomas and Reed finished without a hit.

Whatever the outcome, the game was still a chance to reward some of the league's best players for their successes this season.

"It's the same game," Adduci said of playing in an All-Star Game. "You've got to throw strikes as a pitcher and hit the ball as a hitter and play defense. It's another game we get to play in. I enjoyed playing for Mike (Guerrero). He's a great guy and he really took care of us."

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