It doesn’t quite sound like it’s definite just yet, but there’s a fair chance that, after missing the last three weeks or so of Spring Training with a (mild) hamstring strain, Starlin Castro could play in a minor league game tomorrow. That comes from Castro, himself, which echoed some similarly hopeful statements from Rick Renteria. (Cubs.com)
Doing so would allow the Cubs’ starting shortstop to get four or five at bats and jump start the process of ramping up his readiness for the season, which starts in 10 days.
Renteria says that Castro is basically fully healthy at this point, and now it’s just a matter of getting him the at bats he needs. No one expects Castro to miss any regular season time, but you’d also like to feel like he isn’t behind anyone else when camp breaks.
It’s been easy to forget, what with the emergence of Mike Olt and our ceaseless adoration of all things Javy Baez, but Castro’s performance in the first few months of the season may be the single most important storyline of 2014. You could call the Jeff Samardzija stuff a close second, but Castro bouncing back – quickly and thoroughly – could not only help the Cubs get off to a good start on the year, but could also start the process of at least giving the Cubs some options come midseason. I’m not sayin’ anything, I’m just saying options.
Most importantly, you’d just like to see Castro bust out of the gate well because this is a young man whom the Cubs have under reasonable control for a very long time, and who could be a cornerstone of a surprisingly successful Cubs team over the next few years.
So, fingers crossed that Castro is able to play tomorrow, and comes out of it feeling swell.