Castro making progress toward Opening Day

Castro making progress toward Opening Day

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs' Starlin Castro will play shortstop and get six or seven at-bats in a Minor League game on Wednesday as he continues to make progress from a strained right hamstring, and he predicts he'll be ready for Opening Day.

Castro played in the field Monday in a Minor League game, the first time he was at shortstop since he was injured March 2 while running the bases. On Tuesday, he took batting practice and did agility drills, getting tested in every direction, Cubs manager Rick Renteria said.

"I'm totally comfortable with his health," Renteria said. "He's 100 percent."

Castro feels the same. He should get into one of the Cubs' final Cactus League games before the season opener on Monday in Pittsburgh.

"That's what I'm looking for -- I don't want to miss Opening Day," Castro said. "I think we put good work together and we're working pretty hard. That's my goal. I think I'll be all right."

Now, it's a matter of getting Castro in baseball shape. The Cubs want to wait and see how he feels after Wednesday before deciding if he'll get in a Cactus League game.

"I feel a little tired, but not tired like I can't do anything," he said after Tuesday's workout.

Castro won't get as many at-bats as past springs. Renteria has talked about using the shortstop as the leadoff man.

"I'm already ready," Castro said. "I have plenty of time. I'll take some pitches here in the Minor Leagues, hitting every inning. When the season starts, it's all me, ready to go."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for 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.