According to a report from Mark Gonzales, Starlin Castro is in Arizona at the Cubs facility preparing for Spring Training. Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer told the Tribune he may return briefly to his home in the Dominican Republic before camp officially begins Feb. 24.
Castro is scheduled to attend the Cubs Convention this weekend.
When the season ended Starlin Castro said he would be prepared this spring to stay on the field throughout camp. Castro has missed a majority of Spring Training the last two years with injuries to both hamstrings.
Paul Kinzer also said that he and Castro expect to meet with Theo Epstein while Castro is in Chicago for the convention. Epstein was reportedly not happy with the two incidents Castro was connected two in a three-week time period.
Paul Kinzer did not mix words last month in an interview on MLB Network Radio. After explaining Castro’s situation in his hometown, Kinzer said he would like to Castro move out of the Dominican Republic and relocate to the United States. Kinzer thinks it would benefit his client to take residence in Arizona near the Cubs complex so he can focus on his career year-around.
Castro has talked to the Cubs front office about moving near the team’s facility.
The Cubs are looking for Castro to pick up where he left off last year before an ankle injury cost him the last month of the season. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have pointed to Castro and Anthony Rizzo being the two staples in the Cubs lineup throughout the off-season while reiterating Castro will be the Cubs starting shortstop in 2015.
Castro bounced back last year from a subpar 2013 season. Castro earned a spot on the NL All-Star team and ended up hitting .292/.339/.438 with 33 doubles, a triple and 14 home runs in 134 games. Castro tied a career-high with 14 home runs and set a new mark with a .777 OPS.
Castro also showed improvement in the field and was charged with a career-low 15 errors.
There will be another transition period for Castro this spring. The 24-year old shortstop is preparing for his sixth big league season and turns 25 on March 24. Castro will be playing for his fifth different manager after breaking in under Lou Piniella in 2010.
It will be interesting to see how Castro performs playing on a team for the first time with expectations.
Starlin Castro in recent years has been one of the last position players to report to camp. Castro in Mesa preparing for camp in the second week of January is a good sign for the player and the team.
- Full Report from the Tribune
- Agent Paul Kinzer Thinks Starlin Castro Should Move Out of the Dominican Republic