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Just like that, two Chicago Cubs starters are out of the picture for a stretch. Catcher Geovany Soto, battling a right shoulder strain, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, and first baseman Derrek Lee has been placed on the bereavement list while he attends to his ailing grandfather.

Soto has not played since Friday because of a mild ligament sprain in his right shoulder. He was in Monday’s lineup against the Giants but scratched after feeling some discomfort in batting practice.

Lee left the team Monday to drive to Sacramento to be with his grandfather, who was ill.

Castillo was batting .251 in 65 games at Triple-A Iowa with 13 home runs and 57 RBIs. Hoffpauir was hitting .273 with 20 homers, 32 doubles and 87 RBIs in 107 games. cubs.com.

Soto will likely return as soon as his DL stint is up, and Lee will be back much sooner.

But I’ll tell you the one thing I’m not going to say: if Lee had accepted a trade to California, he would be able to visit his family much more easily in any circumstance. Nope. Not going to say that, because that would be heartless and evil. Not going to say it.

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