Results tagged ‘ Starlin Castro ’

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

5/20 Salute to Jeter

Jeter0520

Starlin Castro presented Derek Jeter with a No. 2 from the Wrigley Field scoreboard as a gift for the Yankees shortstop who is retiring after this season.

(Photo courtesy of the Cubs)

5/2 Cubs 6, Cardinals 5

Anthony Rizzo hit a solo homer and hit a two-run single to lift the Cubs to a 6-5 victory Friday over the Cardinals. Travis Wood picked up the win, and Welington Castillo added a two-run double. Castillo hit three doubles in the game, the first time a Cubs catcher has done that since Damon Berryhill on Sept. 16, 1990. Rizzo is batting .404 (19-for-47) at Wrigley Field in 14 games. He now has homered in back to back games for the first time since July 31-Aug. 1, 2013.

* Ryan Sweeney had to leave the game in the eighth after making a catch on the warning track. He was to have an MRI on his right hamstring. The Cubs are expected to make a roster move and most likely will add outfielder Chris Coghlan from Triple-A Iowa.

* The Cubs will make another roster move on Saturday when they add pitcher Jake Arrieta, who is scheduled to start. The team has been carrying 13 pitchers and that is unlikely to change.

* Starlin Castro is batting .417 (10-for-24) with two doubles, two homers and five RBIs in six games since moving to the cleanup spot in the lineup. The Rizzo-Castro one-two punch impressed St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright.

“I think they’ve both always been dangerous,” Wainwright said. “Rizzo’s always played us very tough, even when he wasn’t hitting other people well. He’s always taken great at-bats off us. I think he’s got tremendous talent, and Castro, how many times has he had 200 hits? A few times already. I always think he’s a dangerous hitter.”

* The Cubs now are 2-2 against the Cardinals this season.

— Carrie Muskat

4/27 Cubs 4, Brewers 0

* Jason Hammel wrapped up a stellar April with another quality start in the Cubs’ 4-0 win over the Brewers. He had a no-hitter through five innings, and then Carlos Gomez doubled with one out in the sixth. What happened? Hammel said he forgot the signs.

“He forgot,” catcher John Baker said of Hammel during Gomez’s at-bat. “We were laughing about it, and so of course, he gave up a hit. It cost me a watch. I should’ve figured out a way to use my mind to give him the signs with telepathy but that didn’t work.”

The last Cubs no-hitter was at Miller Park when Carlos Zambrano shutdown the Astros in September 2008.

“This is a tough ballpark to throw a no-hitter in,” said Hammel, whose career best is a one-hitter. “The ball flies in deep parts of the field. I was thinking about it, but the ‘W’ is first and foremost.”

Manager Rick Renteria agreed. How much did the Cubs need this win?

“A lot. Absolutely,” Renteria said. “You need a little bit of a confidence boost to let yourself know that hey, you’re still in there, you can still play, you can still win ballgames, you can still go out there and execute and still go out there and put yourself in a position to have a chance to win, and today we did.”

* Starlin Castro provided the offense, hitting a pair of solo home runs. He now has four homers this season, and has hit them in two games.

“I’m really happy because I think I have my mind really strong after last year,” Castro said. “I feel happy when I go to home plate and I trust myself. That’s the reason didn’t [have success] last year. Now I go and trust myself.”

* The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Cubs.

— Carrie Muskat

4/8 Cubs lineup

Starlin Castro stays in the No. 6 spot in the Cubs lineup for Tuesday night’s game against the Pirates at Wrigley Field. It’s the first game under the lights at the ballpark. Castro made his first start in the sixth spot on Sunday, and delivered a RBI double in the first. Edwin Jackson makes the start. Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio 2B
Kalish LF
Rizzo 1B
Schierholtz RF
Valbuena 3B
Castro SS
Sweeney CF
Castillo C
E. Jackson P

4/6 Castro hits 6th; hopes for RBI chances

Starlin Castro has batted second and third so far this season, but on Sunday, Cubs manager Rick Renteria dropped the shortstop to the sixth spot in hopes the shortstop could drive in some runs. The Cubs entered Sunday’s game 4-for-40 with runners in scoring position in their first five games.

“It’s good, because we haven’t scored any runs,” Castro said of the switch. “That’s why I’m going to try to do something to get some more runs. It’s good. I feel good. That’s a RBI position. Maybe we’ll have men on base in scoring position.”

Renteria also wanted to take advantage of Castro’s .409 average against Phillies starter A.J. Burnett. The Cubs shortstop is 9-for-22 in his career against the right-hander.

“Maybe we’ll have a lot of guys on base and we’ll see if [Castro] can go ahead and put himself in a position to drive in runs,” Renteria said.

The Cubs manager didn’t talk to Castro before posting the lineup.

“He’s not a guy I worry about,” Renteria said.

Castro understood the switch.

“We haven’t scored runs,” Castro said. “I take [batting sixth] in a good way. We’ve left a lot of people in scoring position. I know Ricky is trying to do something.”

— Carrie Muskat

4/6 Cubs lineup

Carlos Villanueva starts in the series finale Sunday against the Phillies. Starlin Castro is batting sixth, and Darwin Barney gets a breather as Emilio Bonifacio moves to second base. Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio 2B
Kalish LF
Rizzo 1B
Schierholtz RF
Valbuena 3B
Castro SS
Sweeney CF
Baker C
Villanueva P

4/3 Cubs lineup and more

The Cubs got a quick wake up call for Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates at PNC Park. In case you didn’t stay awake, the Cubs lost, 4-3, in 16 innings on Wednesday night in a game that took 5 hours 55 minutes, and ended early Thursday.

Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio CF
Castro SS
Ruggiano RF
Rizzo 1B
Lake LF
Olt 3B
Barney 2B
Baker C
Hammel P

* As of now, Carlos Villanueva is scheduled to start Sunday for the Cubs against the Phillies. Rick Renteria and pitching coach Chris Bosio will discuss their options on the flight home and on Friday in Chicago.

* Renteria moved Castro to the No. 2 spot in the order to try and ease some “anxiousness” that he noticed.

* Renteria was wide awake Thursday.

“It’s deflating [to lose extra inning games] if you want it to be,” Renteria said. “I’m not going to come in here and have these guys laying down and being sad. I’m going to play my music and I’ll come in here every single day ready to go and you say I have a lot of energy, well, that’s what I want those guys to have, too.”

What type of music?

“Everything — rock, pop, salsa, jazz,” Renteria said. “Whatever it takes.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/31 Extra bases

* Starlin Castro may have only played three Cactus League games, but that was enough to convince Cubs manager Rick Renteria to insert the shortstop into the No. 3 spot in the Opening Day lineup.

“Wherever he puts me, I’ll try to do my job,” said Castro, who missed time because of a right hamstring strain suffered March 2.

Renteria wanted speed at the top of the lineup and went with Emilio Bonifacio and Junior Lake ahead of Castro, who also could lead off in games.

“I think I have some flexibility with the guys,” Renteria said.

* Justin Ruggiano did not start Monday against the Pirates’ Francisco Liriano because of a tender left ankle.

“He had a sore ankle at end of spring and we’re just trying to make sure we give him one more day and then we have a day off [Tuesday] and he’ll be ready to go the following day,” Renteria said.

* Top prospects Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler will open the season at Double-A Tennessee. Soler, however, will be slowed because of a sore hamstring. Arodys Vizcaino, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, was assigned to Class A Daytona to take advantage of the warm weather. Vizcaino will be on a structured program for the first month.

— Carrie Muskat

3/27 Castro: “I’ve got to be ready”

Starlin Castro will play again in a Minor League game Thursday as he continues his tune up for the regular season. Castro injured his right hamstring on March 2, and hopes to play in the Cubs’ final exhibition games Friday and Saturday at Chase Field against the Diamondbacks.

On Wednesday in the Minors, he was active.

“I hit a double, scored from second to home, hit a triple, ran the bases pretty good,” Castro said Thursday.

Is he 100 percent healthy?

“Yeah,” Castro said. “I don’t feel anything. I moved on defense yesterday, took a lot of ground balls, moving quick, feel pretty good.”

Opening Day is Monday.

“I’ve got to be ready,” Castro said. “No more time. No more Minor Leagues. I bat every time — four every day, five at-bats every day. No more Minor Leagues. The show is coming.”

— Carrie Muskat

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