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.

Zach Davies replaces Gio Gonzalez on the Brewers roster

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Major League Baseball just announced that it has approved a roster substitution for the Milwaukee Brewers due to the ankle injury sustained by Gio Gonzalez: right-handed pitcher Zach Davies will take his place. In accordance with league rules, Gonzalez will be ineligible to return if the Brewers make it to the World Series.

That rule is designed to prevent roster gamesmanship such as having a pitcher fake an injury after he’s done being used in an effort to give a team a fresh arm in a short series. A second layer on that is an independent consult with the league, which may approve or disapprove the request based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. In this case, Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s Medical Director, confirmed Gonzalez’s injury after communicating with the Brewers’ evaluating physician. Not that anyone can really suggest that Gonzalez was faking. The dude’s ankle went sideways.

That being said, this is a benefit to the Brewers at least for the short term. Davies did not have a fantastic season, going 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts and failing to make the Brewers’ initial postseason roster, but he is fresh — he hasn’t pitched since September 28 — which could prove very useful for Craig Counsell and the Brewers after last night’s 13-inning game.