Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Castro at 500

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Starlin Castro played in his 500th major league game Sunday, and at age 23 already is a two-time All Star with a hefty long-term contract.
Castro entered the game with 589 hits but trying to end a 2-17 slump on the homestand.
While manager Dale Sveum said Castro's slugging percentage and on-base-plus slugging (OPS) percentage need to get more consistent, Castro already is on pace to equal some of the game's best-ever hitters.
He has more hits (589) than Hall of Famer Robin Yount had in his first 569 games (570 hits) and is within 59 hits of the 648 hits Alex Rodriguez collected in his first 513 games.
Among Cubs players, he ranks seventh in hits in first 500 games, but most of those ahead of him were already veterans when they became Cubs. He has the ninth-most doubles in his first 500 games (108), but also is behind players who were veterans, including Aramis Ramirez (109 doubles) and franchise record holder Riggs Stephenson (135), who came from Cleveland.
Sveum said Castro's current struggles are about lack of plate discipline.
``The biggest thing is we know he'll swing at pitches out of the zone, but he's not doing anything with the drive-able pitches now,'' he said.


GOING WEST
A two-game series against the Los Angeles Angels begins Tuesday but the Cubs will be home again Friday to play Pittsburgh--another oddity of this year's schedule.
The Cubs will make four more West Coast trips this season, but this is the only two-game trip.
``We know the history of the West Coast is no fun,'' Sveum said. ``It's hard to go there, and if you play .500 on the West Coast, you've done a pretty good job.''
An off day Monday to travel and on Thursday to return will help.

DRAFT TIME
The two-day amateur draft begins on Thursday, with the Cubs holding the No. 2 pick overall, but also picking at No. 41 and 75.
Vice president of scouting/player development Jason McLeod said the team has spent more time evaluating for the later picks than the top pick.
``We've probably discussed No. 2 for two hours in the last four days,'' he said. ``We'll get into those a lot more in the coming days.''
Houston, with the top pick, and the Cubs are expected to focus on pitchers Jonathan Gray of Oklahoma and Mark Appel of Stanford.
`` We need to take the guy who gives us the best chance to for him to provide significant impact,'' McLeod said.

HEALING
Pitcher Shawn Camp {strained right toe) will throw a bullpen session in Anaheim on the road trip while catcher Steve Clevenger (left oblique strain) begins rehabbing at Class AAA Iowa on Monday.
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This page contains a single entry by Toni Ginnetti published on June 2, 2013 3:46 PM.

Too many walks, not enough hits in 12-4 Cubs loss was the previous entry in this blog.

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