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Castro returns to lineup ready to start new season

Castro returns to lineup ready to start new season

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Castro returns to lineup ready to start new season

MILWAUKEE -- Starlin Castro was back in the Cubs lineup Wednesday, ready to begin what he's considering a new season.

Castro, who sat Tuesday for the first time since Aug. 22, 2011, ending a streak of 269 consecutive games played, was batting .228, which prompted the day off.

"Hopefully, he had the opportunity to kick back and enjoy the day," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Hopefully, he gets back to the player he is."

"I know I can hit," Castro said. "I just have to go out there and do the best I can and play hard every day."

Sveum's message to the two-time All-Star shortstop: Don't try to get four hits every at-bat.

"He told me, 'Be you. I know you can hit. Be the Starlin Castro you always are. Don't try to do too much, don't try to hit .300 in one at-bat. That's not going to happen,'" Castro said. "That's the situation I'm in right now. It happens to every player. He doesn't care who you are -- it happens to everybody. I'm going to finish my year good."

So, a new season starts Wednesday?

"Believe it," Castro said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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