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Castro top contender for Cubs' leadoff spot

Castro top contender for Cubs' leadoff spot

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs have yet to play a game under new manager Rick Renteria, but it appears Starlin Castro is the top candidate to be the leadoff man.

Castro has a career .300 average batting first, but overall he also has a career .322 on-base percentage, which would not put in him the top 25 in the National League.

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"Starlin has had that role in the past, and I think he did a pretty nice job," Renteria said Sunday. "He's not what you would consider a typical on-base guy. I think that as he continues to get more and more comfortable, hopefully, this year is a year he recovers some of his confidence and that little edge that he brought and that you guys all saw when he was coming up. He's an individual that is looking to do well."

Castro batted .300 in 2010, his rookie season, and followed that with a .307 average in '11. But last season, he struggled to bat .245.

Renteria is still tinkering with his lineup.

"We have the whole spring to develop a scheme as to who might fall into that role," he 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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