Cubs' Castro to begin season with Triple-A Iowa

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Cubs manager Lou Piniella told the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan on Sunday that shortstop prospect Starlin Castro will kick off the 2010 season with the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Iowa. 

It’s the right move, no matter how you slice it.  Castro needs playing time more than anything right now and the Cubs’ infield, while not especially talented, is awfully crowded.  Castro, who is just 19 years of age, batted .299/.342/.392 with three homers, 49 RBI and 28 stolen bases last season in 469 at-bats between Single-A and Double-A.

“Starlin is going to start the season in Triple-A
and play. Now the only way Starlin would come into this equation, and
I’ve said this before, is if he shows he’s ready to play here and
there’s a problem physically with Theriot.”

Theriot has experienced no physical issues in camp and will start at shortstop for the foreseeable future.

Tom Ricketts says the Cubs don’t have any more money

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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.

First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.

More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:

The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.