The latest from the injury roundtable …
- Starlin Castro ran the bases yesterday, as expected, and he came out feeling good. Castro tells Patrick Mooney that he’s still not sure when he’ll play again, but he’s “close.” After recently saying his hamstring was at about 40% and then 80%, Castro now estimates he’s at 90%. Hopefully that figure climbs today, and Castro is back in game action by the end of the week (even if it’s just minor league games to get some at bats). From there, he’d have about 10 days to get ready for the season. Still plenty of time. As of right now.
- Mike Olt did not make his debut at third base last night as hoped, but he did DH, and Mark Gonzales reports that the plan is for Olt to start at third tonight. He had a little knot in his shoulder on Monday, apparently, but that’s been worked out. If Olt plays at third tonight, and assuming he feels healthy afterward, there should be plenty of time for the Cubs to evaluate how he looks over there for purposes of making a 25-man roster decision (because, again, he’s got a long track record of success a third defensively).
- James McDonald says his shoulder issue this time around is nothing like last year (when he missed most of the season), and it’s just a little tendinitis (Cubs.com). He felt better the day after leaving his start having thrown just two pitches on Monday. That said, it sounds like he might eventually get an MRI after some rest, and “might” start throwing again in a couple days. Given the shoulder issues of last year, and given the short turnaround before the start of the season, I just can’t see McDonald starting the season on the active roster, as the fifth starter or otherwise. With Jake Arrieta a couple weeks behind thanks to shoulder issues of his own, it looks like Carlos Villanueva, Chris Rusin, or Tsuyoshi Wada will start the season as the fifth starter (probably in that order of likelihood).