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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  • Cubs1967

    Stewart’s commitment ….????….again….
    Oh Jed time to move on. Save the 2M for Marmol trade or Sori! Does Jed know when he looks like a fool? Besides his 3 yrs of GMing with a last place Padres, 101 losses last yr and last place this year!
    Just say bye-bye.

    • Tony_Hall

      Do you?

      • cubs1967

        great comeback tony!!
        it’s all my fault i stated jed’s record as a GM and I realize you and the 8 “likes’ think the cubs will win the division this year, but the common sense fans knows last place here we come.
        and its all my fault for making the trade of stewart for colvin who also can play 1b because the current 1b backup is….??…… or that lemaheui is a much better hitter than stewart (or valbeuna).
        i know i know; don’t say a bad word about theo or jed………..
        go cubs go………we’re just chillin’ till 2016!

        • cubs1967

          and read the article by david haugh from sunday’s tribune……even theo admits there were mistakes in 2011……….i.e. the stewart trade…….
          but you know what they say: fool me once; stupid me; fool me twice; stupid tony(on defending the stewart trade).

          • calicub

            Hows that saying go? If everyone has a problem with you then maybe your the problem? Yeah i think thats how it goes…

            Its really shocking how you tear the FO for making mistakes (which every GM ever has done multple times bcause this is baseball and NOBODY bats 1.000) and then when they admit to their mistakes (which GM’s RARELY DO) you bash them even harder and then make things personal by making assumptions and calling out others.

            BTW your boy Stewart can back up 1b. As could Clevenger or Lillibridge if either makes the team.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Stewart’s lack of commitment to baseball rumours are ridiculous because of the simple fact we don’t anything. Journalists need to write something and will often come up with these “ideas” to sell papers. We don’t actually know anything.

            To say he’s not committed because he has a quad injury is preposterous. Is Starlin Castro not committed because he had a hamstring issue yesterday? Is Derrick Rose not committed because he blew out his knee?

            If anything, if Stewart weren’t committed to baseball, he wouldn’t have had surgery on his wrist multiple times and not spent his offseason working on his hitting with Rod Carew. He would have quit already.

            He wouldn’t have resigned with a team who gave him a chance with for less money this season because he felt he owed it to them to succeed with them.

            As for Colvin and Lemaiheu, they play for Colorado. A park known for inflating offensive numbers. Would either of them had the same numbers last season for the Cubs?

          • John_CC

            You are name calling cry baby. Act like an adult would you.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          LOL!

        • Tony_Hall

          Not sure why you think that I or any of the now 11 likes, think the Cubs will win the division this year? We are the ones that have bought into the rebuilding from the ground up, you are the one that wants them to go all out to win this year.

          You have never understood my position on the Stewart trade. I feel we gave up nothing more than replacement level players, that are in other words, replaceable. We received a player who could fill a big hole of ours at 3B. It hasn’t worked so far. But I don’t believe we gave up much in terms of our future stars. Both players have inflated home stats, especially Colvin, due to hitting at Coors field. Outside of Coors, both players are not even replacement level.

          And thanks, I thought it was a pretty good comeback.

    • Ray Ray

      The glaring problem is if they cut Stewart now is that we have to watch Valbuena at 3rd all year. It was a big mistake bringing Stewart back but look at the alternative.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Valbuena is looking great. Who knows for sure what will happen but if he keeps this up he may be the answer at least in the short-term.

        • Ray Ray

          As Neil pointed out, most pitchers are building arm strength this early in spring throwing mostly fastballs. Don’t get too hung up on spring stats. Valbuena is what he is. Low average, not much power, not a stolen base threat. He will work the count but he is not going to all of a sudden hit .300. He has 1000 career ab’s in the majors and he is a career .224 hitter. That’s a pretty large sample size.

          • Brp921

            Exactly. He’s a utility guy. He’s a good glove off the bench and I’m glad we have him, but he’s a backup.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Agreed. Valbuena may look great in AAA and in spring training against inferior pitching, but is he going to keep it up against Adam Wainwright and Yovani Gallardo in the division?!

      • Brp921

        You hit the nail on the head Ray. Who are they going to play if they DFA Stewart? Besides I think he’s going to surprise people this year.

  • triple

    Hey Neil,

    A quick question about your statement: “and the doubts about Stewart’s commitment to baseball are rearing their ugly head again.”

    Was there something published that came from the mouths of the Cubs FO or players on the team that is questioning Ian Stewart’s commitment to baseball? I know Svuem has mentioned that he wasn’t particularly happy with Stewart’s decision to leave the team last year and that Epstein admitted the mistake of letting DJ and Colvin go in the trade, but that just seams like you’re reporting forum opinion to the readers here? I’m not attacking or pointing fingers, but just trying to get a better read on what you are reporting in that statement and looking for more of factual proof behind that?

    • Ray Ray

      I am sure Neil will answer this but Ian Stewart has a history of having attitude issues. Stu Cole the manager at Colorado’s AAA team had alot to say about his non caring approach to baseball. Sveum seems to be growing tired of him as well. This is not something that is just coming out about Stewart.

    • calicub

      I’m not sure either, I took it as why is he able to do the bunt tourney but wont take a step into the batting cages?

      Edit:
      Also its interesting to me that those two are working together, not because their both injured 3B, but Vitters’ dedication has also been called into question

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Sorry for the delay in responding …

      I am not reporting anything heard in a forum, as you know I do not do that on this site. I only report what I either read, hear or am told from sources I respect and trust.

      If you would like factual proof, listen to the audio from Tuesday’s game against the Rockies, if you have access to it. Gordon Wittenmyer discusses his issues pretty thoroughly with Len and Mick during the second inning and into the third inning.

      Stewart’s commitment to baseball has been an issue for the most part throughout his career and the reputation has followed him to the Cubs.

      • triple

        Thanks Neil… I hope you know that I never doubted your integrity, and I hope you didn’t think I was questioning that. I appreciate your expanding on the announcers discussing this during the game. Yes, I know the past is not favorable for him, and I’ve seen some of that on the interwebs, but as far as recently, I hadn’t really heard or read anything directly, besides Cubs fans complaining about him… I just wanted to know more about the situation. Thanks!

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Not at all, no worries. You are more than welcome and ask any time.