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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cubs Injury Update: Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro could both play again


By on 9/13/2014 12:45:00 PM

For a while, it appeared that the season had ended early for Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, but it appears now that he may get to play again before the season officially does end. The same could hold true for shortstop Starlin Castro. This good news comes via Cubs beat writer Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.

The tweet contains the link to Muskat's Friday evening report in which she describes each player's progress.

Anthony Rizzo

Out since August 26 with lower back strain, Rizzo resumed running drills and batting practice on Friday according to the Cubs Inujry Report. Muskat says that Rizzo could possibly return to the lineup Monday when the Cubs host the Cincinnati Reds to open their final home stand of 2014. Muskat quoted the first baseman Friday briefly discussing the possibility of returning Monday. Said Rizzo:
"Obviously, we're taking it very slow. We want it to be 100 percent going forward. We don't want any setbacks.... It was nice to throw cleats on and sweat like that.'
Rizzo is having a terrific season. In 129 games, he is hitting .278, with 30 HR and 71 RBI for the Major Leagues' 27th-ranked team in terms of runs scored. Ending the season on the field and producing rather than on the bench and merely watching would send him into the offseason with the confidence he will need to lead the young Cubs into and through 2015.

Starlin Castro

While Rizzo had at least a possibility of returning all along, Castro's return looked very doubtful. Castro sprained his left ankle on September 2 and has not played since. He had worn a walking boot for some time, but Muskat said that he shed that boot Friday. Castro predicted that he will play again before the season ends on September 28. Muskat printed the following from Castro:
"This is a great season for me. I think I can improve more than what I've done. I want to be healthy, I don't want to go into the offseason not playing. I want to play -- if it's three games, I'll play three games."
Castro is hitting .292 with 14 HR and 65 RBI in 134 games. Like Rizzo, Castro should become a leader of the young club both on and off the field.

The Cubs have 15 games remaining with 10 of them at Wrigley Field. Their prospects are playing well, but they need the leadership from the two who have now become the veteran presence in the every-day lineup. The young Cubs and their fans may get to see Rizzo and Castro take the field again this month instead of waiting until 2015.

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