Updates from Thursday, March 27
“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.”
Updates from Monday, March 24:
Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune has the latest on Starlin Castro's recovery:
Starlin at SS in minor league game— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) March 24, 2014
After the game Castro sounded very optimistic about his hamstring when talking with Gonzales:
"I don’t know the day now to play in big leagues, but I’m pretty close," Castro said.
Castro, playing defense in a game for the first time since suffering a right hamstring strain March 2, didn't have any fielding chances but moved well in fielding his position. He sprinted to center on a shallow fly without a limp.
Castro went 1-for-5 on the day with an RBI, and didn't suffer any setbacks in the outing:
“I feel good," Castro said. "I try to do all the moving like game action, and I feel very good.’’
Tuesday, Castro will take live batting practice and going through defensive drills in a simulated game. He would prefer to play in a game Tuesday and maintain his rhythm.
Updates from Saturday, March 22
According to Patrick Mooney of CSN, Castro is taking at bats today:
Starlin Castro will take several at-bats in a minor-league game today and expects to be ready for season opener.— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) March 22, 2014
Updates from Friday, March 21
ESPN's Jesse Rogers has an update on Castro:
Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Friday that Starlin Castro is close to returning after being out of the lineup since March 2 with a hamstring injury, and he's confident his shortstop will be ready for Opening Day.
"Did all his running [Thursday]," Renteria said Friday morning. "Ran all the bases. Today was a day off from the running but [he's] fielding and hitting. We'll see how he feels at the end of the day and go from there."
Renteria isn't thinking about a backup plan yet in case Castro can't play in Pittsburgh on March 31.
"Not even a consideration at this point," Renteria said.
Updates from Tuesday, March 18
Jesse Rodgers of ESPN Chicago has the latest update on Starlin Castro:
Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro says he's close to returning from a hamstring injury that has kept him out of the lineup since March 2.
"I'm feeling much better," Castro said as he walked off the field late Tuesday afternoon. "About 90 percent."
Castro said he did a number of drills on Tuesday including batting practice. He's unsure when he will play in a game but it should happen in the coming days. Castro could play in more controlled minor league games before returning to Cactus League play.
Updates from Monday, March 17
Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune had the latest on Starlin Castro's recovery:
Castro said he will run the bases Tuesday, says he's at 80 percent, very optimistic, would need 8-10 games to be ready— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) March 17, 2014
Updates from Friday, March 14
ESPN's Jesse Rodgers has the latest on Castro, courtesy of the shortstop himself:
Castro says he's running at about "40 percent."— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) March 14, 2014
Castro says he waiitng for the "fluid to run down".— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) March 14, 2014
On a related note, Castro said today: “That’s one of my goals. Steal a lot of bases.”— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) March 14, 2014
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com has more on Castro:
#Cubs Renteria says Starlin Castro (hamstring) is "progressing well" and could get in games next week— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 14, 2014
ESPN's Jesse Rogers has Cubs manager Rick Renteria's thoughts on Castro:
"I don't have a set date in my head right now," Renteria said. "That's all based on how he's progressing. He's progressing well."
"He knows his body more than I do," Renteria said. "He could be 75-80 percent in 3-4 days. We just don't know."
Castro had this to say as well:
"I don't want to rush myself," Castro said. "If I can play in 10-12 games in spring training I think I'll be good for the season."
He wants to be 100 percent come April and wants to get back to stealing bases again. He had just nine last season after swiping 25 in 2012.
"That's one of my goals," Castro said. "Steal a lot of bases. I can do it because I have a green light now. When I want to run, I run."
Updates from Monday, March 10
Carrie Muskat of MLBlogs.com provides a statement Starlin Castro discussing his recovery:
“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.”
“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.
Updates from Friday, March 7
Starlin Castro commented on his injury, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat:
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
The mere mention of injury in the same sentence as young star Starlin Castro may cause Chicago Cubs fans to quiver in their boots. But keep calm and continue to enjoy spring training, Cubs fans, for the recent injury to Castro doesn't appear to be all that serious.
Jesse Rogers of ESPN shares the news:
Renteria says Castro is out 7-10 days due to a hamstring injury. Barney and Bonifacio will play some short— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) March 3, 2014
Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times has more:
Renteria: Starlin to be out 7-10 days. "Shouldn't set him back at all for the regular season." Bnifacio, Brney, Baez, Alcntara will play SS.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) March 3, 2014
The one positive for the Cubs in the event that Castro ever does go down for a lengthy period is that Javier Baez is waiting in the wings. The youngster is one of the jewels of a strong Cubs farm system, and already much of the talk surrounding the team is about him.
Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago provided further details:
Castro downplayed his right hamstring strain after Sunday’s 5-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Cubs Park, predicting it won’t be long until he’s back in the lineup.
But this is what happens when a franchise underfunds the big-league product and bets everything on the prospects. The kids become the big story. Three games into the Cactus League schedule, Baez Watch has already begun.
Baez will get his chance in the big leagues eventually, but Castro has shown plenty of ability and won't be losing his starting gig anytime soon.
While he struggled in 2013, hitting just .245 with 10 home runs, 44 RBI and a career-low nine stolen bases in 161 games, he was excellent in both 2011 and 2012, and set career highs in 2012 with 14 home runs, 78 RBI and 25 stolen bases.
Still, if Castro struggles again this season, Baez may overtake him for the starting gig. So you can bet Castro will downplay any injuries this spring and look to get back into the swing of things as soon as possible.