Results tagged ‘ Starlin Castro ’

3/17 Injury updates

* Mike Olt was scratched on Monday from the Cubs’ game because of fatigue in his right shoulder.

“We’re just looking to keep him healthy for the rest of the spring and available,” manager Rick Renteria said.

* Starlin Castro is continuing to make progress from a hamstring injury suffered March 2. Castro can make up for lost time by getting at-bats in the Minor League camp.

“Starlin was looking real well, and looked good at the plate,” Renteria said. “I’m not too worried about Starlin. His demeanor is pretty positive, pretty upbeat. I think he’s trying to get himself ready for the season.”

* Casper Wells was sidelined with back spasms Monday. He’s day to day.

3/11 Extra bases

* Travis Wood is hoping the Cubs get all the dropped balls and strange plays out of their system this spring. On Tuesday, the Cubs lefty was charged with five runs on nine hits over 2 2/3 innings, with two runs scoring on singles that never left the infield. The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first, and with two outs in the third, Nolan Arenado was credited with a triple on a ball that center fielder Junior Lake lost in the sun. Wood gave up hits to the next five batters, including a two-run homer to Kyle Parker, before he was lifted.

“It’s going to happen, it’s part of baseball,” Wood said. “You see it every year. I’ve got to come back and help him out of the inning. I felt I made some good pitches and they put some good swings on them.”

The Rockies also got a couple breaks. Wood could only shrug after his outing.

“I said it’s just one of those days,” the lefty said. “Luckily, it happened in spring, so we can move forward from that and get ready for the next one.”

* James Russell, slowed this spring because of a tired arm, will make his Cactus League debut on Wednesday in the Cubs’ game against the Mariners. Russell has appeared in more than 70 games in relief in back to back seasons, and manager Rick Renteria said he is very cognizant of a pitcher’s usage. The Cubs do have another lefty, Wesley Wright, who could pick up some of the workload for Russell during the season.

* Javier Baez is taking ground balls at second and third before batting practice and Renteria will try to get the Cubs’ top prospect at one of those positions in a Cactus League game soon but is looking for the right shortstop to match up with. Baez will open the season at Triple-A Iowa at shortstop.

“We’re going to make sure when we do put him there we’re really comfortable and confident he can handle that side of the diamond,” Renteria said. “I think it’s pretty close.”

Darwin Barney started his second game at shortstop on Tuesday, and Renteria said that would be the most likely pairing with Baez because they want someone with experience.

* Mike Olt, who has not started at third to protect a tender right shoulder, is “getting close” to playing there in a Cactus League game. Olt did make a perfect throw on a double play in Monday’s game against the Giants, which impressed Renteria.

* Shortstop Starlin Castro, sidelined with a mild right hamstring strain since March 2, was able to do some light baseball activity on Tuesday. He was expected to get into games early next week.

* Edwin Jackson will face Minor League hitters on Wednesday at the Cubs’ complex to stay on schedule, while James McDonald gets the start that night against the Mariners. Renteria said Tuesday he has yet to talk to Jackson since his last Cactus League start March 7 when the right-hander decided to only throw fastballs, but didn’t tell either the manager or pitching coach Chris Bosio. Jackson gave up three runs on four hits over three innings against Cleveland.

“I’m sure we’ll have the discussion, and that will be between me and him,” Renteria said.

– Carrie Muskat

3/10 Castro to start baseball activities

Starlin Castro hopes to begin running and hitting off a batting tee on Tuesday, and hoped to be back in Cactus League games by the weekend, although manager Rick Renteria said it was more likely the shortstop would return next week. Castro has been sidelined with a mild right hamstring strain suffered March 2.

“It [stinks] to be doing this,” Castro said of the rehab. “I’d rather be playing. We’ll see this weekend if I’ll be in the game.”

It’s the second straight spring that Castro has missed time because of a hamstring injury. Last year, it was his left hamstring, and the strain was more severe. He’s already thinking about what he has to do this next offseason.

“I’ll just work a little more to get stronger,” Castro said.

The plan is to begin baseball activities on Tuesday, and start taking ground balls on Wednesday.

“I don’t want to be rushed,” he said.

– Carrie Muskat

3/7 Castro making progress

Starlin Castro, sidelined since Sunday with a mild right hamstring strain, hopes to begin baseball activities early next week and has the same goal as years past of playing all 162 games. Castro, injured when he tried to steal second base in a game, is taking advantage of the Cubs’ new hydrotherapy pool and doing exercises there twice a day. It’s helped speed up his rehab.

“I don’t feel any hurt or tightness,” Castro said Friday of his leg. “It feels much better. I don’t want to rush myself. I want to be 100 percent.”

His goal every season is to play every game, which he did in 2012. Last year, Castro had a strained left hamstring in Spring Training, recovered, and played 161 games.

“That’s my goal every year,” Castro said about playing all 162 games. “That’s why this [injury] is better to happen now, hurt now, and not during the season. I’m going to be 100 percent for the season.”

He is coming off his worst offensive season, when he batted .245, and was enjoying his work with new hitting coach Bill Mueller.

“I feel a little frustrated becuase I felt really locked in when I was hurt,” Castro said. “I felt so good at home plate. It was only one week here, the games started, and I already felt good at home plate. That [feeling of being] locked in, it won’t go away. It’ll stay there. I’m going to stay locked in.”

He’s able to do some upper body exercises while he nurses his sore hamstring. After devoting so much time in the offseason to preparing for this year, Castro is frustrated at the injury.

“I don’t like being hurt,” he said. “It’s not good. I prefer to go on the field, run, get ground balls. I don’t want to be in the pool. I want baseball activity.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/3 Castro out 7-10 days

Starlin Castro will be sidelined seven to 10 days because of a mild right hamstring strain that should not hinder the shortstop from being ready for the regular season, Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Monday.

“From what we gathered, it’s similar to what happened to him last year at this time,” Renteria said of Castro’s injury, suffered in the first inning Sunday when he tried to steal second. “It’s seven to 10 days and we’re just being cautious with him. It shouldn’t set him back for the regular season.”

Castro was sidelined for two weeks last spring with a sore left hamstring. After Sunday’s game, he said the injury suffered on Sunday was “not too bad like last year” and that the team removed him as a precautionary measure. A year ago, Castro could barely walk after he was hurt.

“This doesn’t seem to be anything like last year to the degree that it was,” Renteria said. “He’s walking around pretty good now.”

The Cubs will give Emilio Bonifacio and Darwin Barney more starts at shortstop while Castro heals and also look at top prospect Javier Baez. They also have infielders Arismendy Alcantara and Jeudy Valdez in camp.

“What it allows us to do is see other guys at that position and recognize if Barney can go over there and [Bonifacio],” Renteria said. “It’ll give guys playing time.”

Castro spent more time this offseason on conditioning and reported to camp in good shape. The Cubs sent strength coach Tim Buss to the Dominican Republic for three weeks to work with the shortstop, who also spent four weeks at a training facility in Bradenton, Fla. Castro is coming off a season in which he batted a career-low .245.

– Carrie Muskat

3/2 Castro: “I don’t want to rush”

Last spring, Starlin Castro missed two weeks because of a sore left hamstring and amped up his offseason workouts to report in better shape. But on Sunday, in his second spring at-bat, the Cubs shortstop had to leave the game because of a mild right hamstring strain. Castro was hit by a pitch with one out in the first by the Royals’ Wade Davis, and then thrown out trying to steal second. He walked gingerly off the field and was lifted defensively.

“It’s not too bad like last year,” Castro said. “We don’t want to take a chance. It’s early right now. You take a couple days to get better.”

Last year, Castro was sidelined from Feb. 27-March 13. He said the pain on Sunday wasn’t as severe.

“Last year, I couldn’t walk [after he was hurt] and now I can walk normal,” Castro said. “[Athletic trainer PJ Mainville] stretched it out and I feel better.

“I don’t want to rush,” he said. “I want to take time to get better. I think I’ll be better.”

Castro was in better shape this spring. The Cubs sent strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss to the Dominican Republic for three weeks and Castro trained for another four weeks at a complex in Brandenton, Fla.

“A little bit [frustrating],” Castro said. “I feel so good when I work, I’m working hard every day. I feel 100 percent every day and this thing happens now.”

Javier Baez took over at shortstop on Sunday, and went 2-for-3. Castro and the Cubs’ top prospect chatted as Baez was leaving the facility.

“He’s not down,” Baez said of Castro. “He’s taking it easy. It’s only Spring Training. He wants to take care of his body.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/2 Castro leaves game – UPDATED

Starlin Castro had to leave Sunday’s game after the first inning with a mild right hamstring strain. Castro was hit by a pitch with one out in the first, and then thrown out trying to steal second. He walked gingerly off the field. His status is day to day.

– Carrie Muskat

2/19 Extra bases

* Wednesday was the Cubs’ first full squad workout, which meant it was the first day of live batting practice. Nate Schierholtz got to face exactly who he needed in lefty Travis Wood. Schierholtz is hoping he can convince Cubs manager Rick Renteria to not platoon the outfielder against left-handed pitchers. Last year, Schierholtz batted .262 against right-handers and hit .170 against lefties, part of the reason he had to share right field.

“That’s a huge goal of mine is to play every day and not necessarily platoon as much,” Schierholtz said Wednesday. “That’s one of my big goals this spring.”

* Renteria met with each player on Wednesday, and was impressed by shortstop Starlin Castro, who is coming off a tough year in which he batted a career-low .245.

“He’s very excited,” Renteria said of Castro. “We liked the way he looked in our meeting. He was very happy. We just told him to be himself, expand on his skills and improve his approach at the plate. He spoke a bit more than we did. He has an idea of what he wants to do.”

* Even though Mike Olt’s primary position is third base, he was working out at first on Wednesday on the first day of workouts. The Cubs don’t have a backup first baseman, and top prospects Kris Bryant and Christian Villanueva were sharing third during the session.

* Kyuji Fujikawa, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, had a long toss session Wednesday, throwing from about 135 feet. He is making progress.

“As long as there is nothing that sets him back, he continues to move forward,” Renteria said.

* Somehow, Blake Parker was aligned with lefties Wesley Wright, James Russell, Tommy Hottovy, Tsuyoshi Wada and Zac Rosscup. Parker is the only right-hander in that group. Did he have to adjust to the southpaws?

“No — I just took my glove off and we did a strictly right-handed shake,” Wright said.

* Besides Wood, Jeff Samardzija, Chris Rusin, Carlos Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks threw live BP sessions on Wednesday.

* Thursday’s workout in Cubs camp will start at the normal time, with stretching at 9:30 a.m. Arizona time.

– Carrie Muskat

2/19 Renteria on Castro

This is Rick Renteria’s first exposure to daily media briefings, and during Tuesday’s session, he misunderstood a question about Anthony Rizzo and instead offered some observations on Starlin Castro.

The questions had been about what Renteria expects from Rizzo, but the manager mixed up the pronouns and thought Castro was the subject. Renteria said he knows there’s been a lot of attention on Castro’s defense. While working out recently, Renteria saw highlights of some players’ low moments when they forgot how many outs there were, such as outfielder Larry Walker, who handed a ball to a fan, not realizing it was only the second out, not the third. Renteria said many players have had mental lapses in the game yet Castro’s moment, when he caught a pop up in shallow left and a runner scored from third because the shortstop didn’t react, got a lot of attention.

“It happens to the best of them,” Renteria said. “You talk to all those guys [who made mistakes in the past] and they’re all laughing about it now. Unfortunately for this young man, everybody decided he was the one to pick on, he was the one to make a big emphasis about what just occurred. I get it. It’s a situation where it’s a club not performing as well as everybody would want. You wouldn’t want those things to occur. We don’t expect them to continue to occur but I think this is a new year, hopefully a new environment, where high expectations are being laid for everyone. It’s incumbent on all of us as coaches to understand how these guys work and do things and help them stay on their toes as the game is progressing.”

Renteria and Castro will talk today as position players report to Cubs camp.

– Carrie Muskat

2/18 Cubs spring schedule

Cubs pitchers and catchers just have conditioning work on Tuesday, the last day before the full squad gets to work at the new spring complex. The first full squad workout will be Wednesday, and will start later as there is a team meeting at 11:30 a.m. Arizona time. New position players to arrive on Tuesday included Luis Valbuena and Jeudy Valdez. Starlin Castro and Junior Lake have yet to arrive.

The players were well aware of the tough winter in Chicago.

“I’m home in Florida, laughing every day,” Anthony Rizzo said. “It’s been miserable there. I felt sorry for everyone there.”

– Carrie Muskat

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