Dale Sveum says Starlin Castro only focuses about “80 to 85 percent of the time”

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Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com spoke with Cubs officials about what it means for the team to depend on young kids like Starlin Castro. And manager Dale Sveum dealt directly with Castro’s notable lack of concentration at times last season:

“He came a long way, but still has to even concentrate more,” Sveum said. “We’ve got him probably – just throwing a number out there – really focused 80 to 85 percent of the time. We got to get that to 95 percent of the time. I don’t think anybody ever really focuses 100 percent.”

Wait, you telling me that those people who say they give 110% are lying? Man, I don’t know what to believe in anymore.

Check out the whole article to get a sense of the brave new (young) world on the north side.

A 30-year-old rookie won his major league debut

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The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.

That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.

Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.

The Nationals could pursue Sonny Gray

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network says that the Nationals could pursue Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray if Stephen Strasburg‘s forearm issue lingers. Strasburg left Sunday’s start early due to forearm tightness, saying he was unable to get loose. Sometimes that’s a sign of a major injury. Sometimes it’s just a thing that happens and then goes away.

The Nationals will have to make a determination as to how big a deal this all is pretty soon, though, as a lot of other teams, including the Yankees, Brewers and Astros have all been linked to Gray. It seems inevitable at this point that the A’s will move their ace before Monday’s trade deadline.

Gray is set to start tonight. It may very well be his last in an A’s uniform.