Castro becomes first Cub to play all 162 games at short

Castro becomes first Cub to play all 162 games at short

CHICAGO -- On Thursday, Starlin Castro can rest. On Wednesday, he became the first player in franchise history to play at shortstop in all 162 games in a season.

Castro surpassed the single-season franchise mark of 160 set by Ivan DeJesus in 1978 and '79. Wednesday also was Castro's 161st start at short, and he is the first to total that many. DeJesus ('78) and Don Kessinger ('68) both held the previous mark of 158 starts.

Castro also is the first Cubs infielder to appear in all 162 games in a season since Hall of Famer Ron Santo did so in 1968.

Only three players in the big leagues have played 162 games at shortstop during the last 10 seasons: Baltimore's Miguel Tejada ('03 and '04), Montreal's Orlando Cabrera ('03) and Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins ('07).

Castro has appeared in 195 consecutive games, which, according to Elias Sports Bureau, is the longest active streak in the National League and the second-longest active run in all of baseball, behind only Detroit's Prince Fielder.

What's impressed Cubs manager Dale Sveum beyond Castro's durability is that there's been no change since he signed his seven-year, $60 million contract in late August.

"The best thing about signing a contract is I haven't seen him go backward," Sveum said. "I've seen a guy who cares still. He's had good at-bats with men in scoring position. That's the biggest thing since he signed that contract. I've seen him go forward instead of backward."