Big day for Castro
Starlin Castro doubled twice and walked in six plate appearances in a minor-league game Saturday, his first game action since a hamstring injury March 2 — and the strongest indication yet he’ll avoid the disabled list when the season starts. ‘‘Absolutely, it’s a great sign,” manager Rick Renteria said. He’s scheduled to load up on more minor-league at-bats Sunday, then be evaluated for a possible return to Cactus League play during the week. Castro says he wants to play every day leading up to the March 31 opener in Pittsburgh.
Third baseman Mike Olt, who was slowed most of the spring by a sore shoulder, played his second game at third — and second in three days. But he’s still waiting for his first fielding chance. Olt, who’s in the lineup again Sunday at third, walked in three plate appearances and is hitting .275 with four homers. He’s trying to beat out the Donnie Murphy-Luis Valbuena platoon for the third-base job.
The Cubs’ top pitching prospect, right-hander C.J. Edwards (ranked 28th overall by Baseball America), gets a big-league spring start Tuesday against the Padres.
Wood gets his opener
Renteria said All-Star left-hander Travis Wood was scheduled to make his season debut in the April 4 home opener against the Phillies, in part, because of matchups. Wood averages seven innings with a 2.11 ERA in three career starts against the Phillies. Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson and Jason Hammel will start in the Cubs’ opening series.
With three more hits, Anthony Rizzo is 14-for-39 (.359) with a .641 slugging percentage.
Cubs at Athletics, Phoenix, 3:05, Ch. 9, cubs.com (audio), Hammel vs. Jesse Chavez.