Castro Day-to-Day, Garza to Begin Throwing and Other Cubs News Bits

Starlin Castro is listed as day-to-day after leaving Wednesday’s Cactus League game in the fourth inning with left hamstring tightness. Castro hurt his hamstring running to first base in the exhibition game, and left the game immediately.

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, Dale Sveum thought Castro hurt his knee when he first pulled up. Castro described what he felt as being “more of a charley horse” and Sveum is thankful the injury does not seem like a big deal. Castro was the designated hitter on Wednesday, and lobbied for the third at bat. Castro will be re-evaluated on Thursday morning, but he does not anticipate missing much time. Castro has never had a hamstring injury according to the Tribune.

Starlin Castro plans on playing every game for the Cubs this season, the second straight year of playing all 162 games.

Matt Garza

Matt Garza passed an upper body test on Wednesday, and according to multiple reports he appears ready to resume throwing on Thursday as long as he remains pain free. Garza is expected to begin a light throwing program on Thursday that will consist of throwing on flat ground.

Garza has been sidelined since February 17 with a mild left lat strain.

If Garza does not have any further setbacks, the Cubs anticipate him being on the active roster when the season begins.

Aledmys Diaz

According to a report from Baseball America, Major League Baseball’s investigation into the age of Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz is still ongoing.

The Cubs are rumored to be one of several teams thought to be interested in signing Diaz, but MLB has been unable to verify his date of birth. Diaz has submitted documentation to Major League Baseball with a birth-date of January 8, 1990.

If Diaz turned 23 on January 8 it would make him eligible for free agency and not subject to the new international signing restrictions. Cuban players with at least three years of professional experience and are at least 23 years old are eligible for free agency.

Baseball America’s Ben Badler broke the news at the end of January that MLB was investigating Aledmys Diaz’s age.

Spring Training News Bits

Dale Sveum is keeping the Cubs’ clubhouse loose according to a report from ESPN Chicago. Darwin Barney credited Sveum with keeping the clubhouse loose, but pointed out “you better get your work in or you are going to know about it.”

David DeJesus will likely begin the season as the Cubs’ leadoff hitter, at least against right-handed hitters. Dale Sveum thinks Luis Valbuena could eventually develop into that role according to a report from the Tribune. Valbuena sees a lot of pitches, and has all of the things you would want in a leadoff hitter according to Sveum. If Dave Sappelt makes the team, he could hit leadoff against lefties and Darwin Barney remains a possibility as well against southpaws.

Javier Baez nearly took Dee Gordon’s head off with a one-hop shot up the middle during Wednesday’s exhibition game according to the Tribune. Dale Sveum said he’s probably seen balls hit as hard as the one Baez hit on Wednesday but never one harder. Sveum said the ball Baez hit was like the ones Gary Sheffield used to hit.

Ian Stewart and Josh Vitters are rehabbing together doing agility drills. Stewart was cleared to participate in the bunting tournament but still has not swung a bat … and the doubts about Stewart’s commitment to baseball are rearing their ugly head again.

The Cubs are sticking to the Triple-A plan for Brett Jackson.

Chris Rusin, Logan Watkins, Anthony Rizzo and Tim Buss advanced to the Sweet 16 in the Cubs’ bunt tournament on Wednesday. Thursday’s bunting tournament matchups include: Nick Struck vs. Edwin Jackson; Shawn Camp vs. Casey Coleman; David DeJesus vs. Darwin Barney; Starlin Castro vs. Rafael Lopez

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