Eckstein gets late All-Star Game nod

Eckstein gets late All-Star Game nod

HOUSTON -- National League manager Phil Garner didn't have to use up any of his phone minutes to notify the latest addition to the Senior Circuit's All-Star squad. All he had to do was walk a few dozen yards across Minute Maid Park and have a chat with David Eckstein, face-to-face.

Eckstein, who started at shortstop for the National League in 2005, has been added to the '06 roster as a late replacement for the Mets' Jose Reyes. The New York speedster, who was voted in by fans as the starter, removed himself from active participation after suffering a hand injury on Friday. It will be the second career All-Star nod for the St. Louis leadoff man.

The addition of Eckstein means that four Cardinals are heading to Pittsburgh for the Midsummer Classic. Albert Pujols was voted in as the starter at first base, Chris Carpenter was selected to the pitching staff by player vote and Scott Rolen was selected by Garner.

It's the fourth straight season that a Cardinals shortstop will be on the All-Star team. Before Eckstein in 2005, Edgar Renteria was named to the club in 2004 and 2003. Coincidentally, Renteria, now an Atlanta Brave, is already on the team via the player ballot.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.