Castro going the distance in breakout season

Castro going the distance in breakout season

DENVER -- As of Thursday, Starlin Castro had played in all 156 of the Cubs' games this season. Manager Dale Sveum doesn't plan on giving his shortstop a day off.

"That's what you want," Sveum said of Castro's durability. "When you get to a point and you have young players capable of doing it health wise, you want them to play every day."

Castro has set career highs with 12 triples and 25 stolen bases, and is the only player in the Major Leagues with at least 10 home runs, 10 triples, 25 stolen bases and 75 RBIs. He's the first National League player to do so since Jimmy Rollins in 2007. Since Castro's debut in May 2010, he leads all NL players in hits.

But Sveum wants Castro to get better, especially on his defense. Among the things he'd like the shortstop to work on is to not rely on his arm as much. Sveum likes to call such infielders "grass huggers" because they don't want to leave the grass, since their arms are so strong.

"There's a lot you can't work on and just stuff you have to be aware of," Sveum said.

What about Castro's habit of reaching for sunflower seeds before his at-bats? Sveum wasn't too worried about that.

"Some people dip and chew gum, and he chews seeds," Sveum said. "Everybody has their nervous habits."