3/4 Castro sidelined 1 week

Shortstop Starlin Castro, who has not played since Wednesday because of a tight left hamstring, now was not expected to play in a Cactus League game until the weekend, or possibly next Monday. Dale Sveum said they are being cautious and that if this were the regular season, Castro could play.

“He’s fine,” Sveum said. “He did everything [Sunday] and there’s nothing going on. He took full [batting practice]. Today, he’ll be out here on the field taking a round of [batting practice], same as yesterday. We can’t even simulate any kind of discomfort or feeling in the hamstring.”

So, why give Castro another week?

“Because we have plenty of time,” Sveum said. “A week from now, you’re talking the 10th or 11th [of March], and we have 20 plus games after that. That’s plenty of time for him to get in Opening Day shape.”

Added Sveum: “If it was the regular season, he’d probably be playing.”

The Cubs are already thin in the infield with injuries to third basemen Ian Stewart and Josh Vitters, both sidelined since Feb. 22 with strained left quads.

— Carrie Muskat

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