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Four Reading Fightins Set for EL All-Star Game

Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd
The Double-A Reading Fightins will have four representatives in Wednesday's Eastern League All-Star Game, which is set to be played in New Britain, CT. Starting pitchers Jesse Biddle and Seth Rosin will be joined by second baseman Albert Cartwright and first baseman Jim Murphy to make up the foursome of Phillies talents in the annual exhibition.

Making their first career All-Star appearances are Cartwright and Rosin, while Biddle and Murphy are each being honored for the second time. Biddle was an All-Star in the Class A Advanced Florida State League last year. Murphy represented Lakewood in the 2011 Class A South Atlantic League game.

The contest will feature loads of top talent from around the EL and Biddle, who has a 3-8 record along with a 3.08 ERA and a league leading 102 strike outs through 17 starts this season, is honored to be listed among that collection of players.

"To be mentioned with the players I'm playing with is unbelievable," Biddle said. "It means a lot to me."

The 21-year-old lefty hurler won't pitch in the EL All-Star contest, as the Phillies prefer to reserve him for a different showcase.  Biddle, along with Reading third baseman Maikel Franco, will participate in the MLB All-Star Futures Game this upcoming Sunday in New York City.

"The Double-A All-Star team, there's some good players in that. It's future big leaguers. The Futures Game is obviously a big deal and it's something that I grew up watching. So, I really wanted to (be in that). Those were two goals that I set for myself going into the year," Biddle declared.

Rosin, 24, was added to the roster late, as an injury replacement. The right-hander, who was acquired from San Francisco in last summer's Hunter Pence deal, is in his first full season as a starter and has tallied a 6-4 record and a 4.13 ERA in 18 games this season. Rosin was a 4th round draft choice by San Francisco in 2010.

The Fightins placed a pitch count on Rosin in his latest start against Trenton on Monday afternoon, to ensure that he'd be able to pitch in the All-Star Game. Rosin threw three innings, allowing one run, for the no decision.

"I wanted to keep going, but Lundy (Fightins pitching coach Dave Lundquist) and the rest of them wanted me to showcase what Reading has to offer in the All-Star Game, since Biddle's not gonna throw," Rosin stated. "It was nice to be chosen to be that representative."

Cartwright, who grew up in the Bahamas, admired All-Star shortstop Rafael Furcal as a youngster, since Braves games broadcast on Superstation TBS were his only exposure to televised baseball. At the age of 16, Cartwright moved to the United States to attend high school and to be able to put himself on display for scouts. The 25-year-old was selected by the Astros in the 2007 draft out of college and was later dealt to the Phillies in exchange for left-handed reliever Sergio Escalona.

Thus far in 2013, Cartwright is batting .254 with seven home runs, 27 RBI and 15 steals through 78 games.

Murphy, 27, is tied for second in the EL in homers with 15 and ranks among the top ten in hits, RBI as well as OPS. The righty batting slugger was the Phillies' 17th round draft selection in 2008 out of Washington State University.

Before heading north toward Connecticut, the group of four Fightins got their All-Star break started on Monday night by attending the major league Phillies' 3-2 victory over the Nationals, watching the game from the suite level and dreaming of achieving bigger goals.

Former Phillies pitching prospect Trevor May, who played for Reading last year, will be among the host Rock Cats' six All-Stars. May was dealt to Minnesota last off-season, along with Vance Worley, for outfielder Ben Revere.

Wednesday night's game will get under way at 7:05 PM at New Britain Stadium. Reading's second half begins on Thursday with a four-game series at home against New Hampshire.

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