Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

gods-benevolenceIt’s not always bad news when it comes to Chicago Cubs injuries. Of course, even the “good” news is merely “acceptable” news, and you still regard it cautiously.

First, there’s Starlin Castro, who left yesterday’s game with a mild right hamstring strain after a failed stolen base attempt. Last year, when he strained his left hamstring, Castro missed two weeks of Spring action, but started the year on-time, and played in every game (save for the one day he got off to collect his thoughts). This time around, Castro doesn’t think the strain is even that serious.

“It’s not too bad like last year,” Castro told, adding that he can walk normally, whereas last year he could not. “We don’t want to take a chance. It’s early right now. You take a couple days to get better.”

I guess I won’t be seeing Castro on my Spring Training trip this year, but if he’s back in action by next week, I won’t complain about it. Well, given that this means I might get to see a little more Javy Baez, I probably won’t complain either way.

And then there’s Jake Arrieta, slowed this Spring by some tightness in his shoulder, who tells Jesse Rogers that things are going well.

“We’ve moved forward at a quicker pace then we initially had drawn up which is good,” Arrieta said. The expectation is that Arrieta will throw long toss today, and then his next step will be throwing off of the mound.

Although it remains technically possible that Arrieta could be ready for the start of the season (particularly with the obligatory off-day after Opening Day, which would allow the Cubs to skip the fifth starter the first time through the rotation), I think we’ll see him start on the disabled list, even if all goes well from here. With James McDonald and Carlos Villanueva already virtually guaranteed spots on the Opening Day roster, and with each a theoretical flip candidate, there’s little incentive to rush Arrieta, even if you weren’t concerned about further injury. April is cold, man. If Arrieta misses a couple weeks, it’ll be just fine for everyone involved.

UPDATE: Rick Renteria just met with the media and told them that Castro will be out for seven to ten days, with Darwin Barney and Emilio Bonifacio getting some time at shortstop (among others, presumably). I’m mid-flight, so I’ll get you the full quotes when I can. I’m guessing this is all just an “abundance of caution, long Spring” kind of thing. Still no huge worries on my end.

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