It has been one nagging injury after another during the first week of Cactus League play for the Chicago Cubs.
First it was pitcher Matt Garza (lat) and third baseman Ian Stewart (quadriceps). Then it was star shortstop Starlin Castro, who left the Feb. 27 game with a tight left hamstring after he pulled up lame running out an infield hit.
While Garza and Stewart find their statuses uncertain, the Cubs were terming Castro's situation "day to day." In fact, Castro was able to take part in the Cubs' annual bunting tournament the next day.
"It was tight, and he was jogging around in the trainer's room after he got worked on a little bit," said manager Dale Sveum, who added that his initial reaction was "not good" when he saw Castro pull up. "It was more tight than a pull or anything like that, so he's just day to day. Thank God, nothing real major at all."
Castro played in all 162 games last season, becoming the first Cub to appear in 162 as a shortstop. He said that's his goal again this season. Sveum opened spring training by saying Castro's next goal should be to win a Gold Glove.
"I don't want to be hurt, man," Castro said. "I feel too good this year to start the season hurt. The trainers took care of me. I think it's not bad."
If there's any upside, the Cubs can get an extended look at highly touted shortstop prospect Javier Baez while Castro takes it easy on his hamstring. Baez, the Cubs' first-round draft pick in 2011, won't make the team out of spring training, but the Cubs are excited about his upside, both at the plate and in the field.