6/12 Extra bases

* The Cubs signed veteran catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a Minor League deal, and he was to report to the team’s complex in Mesa, Ariz. A career .256 hitter, Torrealba, 35, had signed with the Angels in January, but was released on March 23. He has played for the Rockies, Giants, Rangers, Padres, Mariners, Brewers, and Blue Jays, and last season, appeared in 61 games with the Rockies, batting .240 with eight doubles and 16 RBIs. There was no timetable for how long he’ll work out in Mesa.

* The Cubs will continue to carry 13 pitchers, and so far, manager Rick Renteria said he hasn’t missed having an extra player on the bench. Most teams carry 12 pitchers.

“It’s actually possibly helped us to have the guys we have so we can gain some length,” Renteria said. “It also allows us to give guys some days off with the usage in certain instances.”

* Last season, shortstop Starlin Castro batted everywhere but fourth in the lineup, including one game when he was hitting ninth. This year, Castro has a few games at other spots, but has settled into the No. 4 spot. But Renteria says Castro isn’t a No. 4 hitter.

“He isn’t,” Renteria said Thursday. “But he’s doing well. All things being equal and looking at how they’re performing, I’ll leave him where he’s at. For us, for our club, he’s the one who seems to fit there the best.

“He’s not bothered by it,” Renteria said of Castro, who was batting .272 in the No. 4 spot. “He doesn’t think about it in any way shape or form of being the quote-unquote fourth hitter. He just sees himself as being there to hit, whether he’s in the fourth slot or the second. I don’t think he thinks about it.”

* The Cubs will wear throwback uniforms from 1964 on Friday when they play the Phillies. It’s part of a retro weekend.

— Carrie Muskat


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Houston has been a doormat for much of this season, but there has been an infusion of young talent recently (see George Springer and Singleton for example), and as a result, the Astros have been one of hottest teams in mlb of late. I mention this because we can possibly project such an outcome for our club down the road, when our young talent is deemed ready to perform at the big league level. {I think this has been mentioned prior, and it`s worth repeating. Springer played at UConn and I reckon he and Olt were teammates. Springer has enjoyed instant success in the bigs, and Olt has not. Is possible Mike will eventually find his way. Let`s hope so.

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