The Cubs scratched Starlin Castro from Wednesday’s lineup as the All-Star shortstop left the team to deal with a family emergency.
Club officials respected Castro’s privacy, declining to release details or speculate exactly how long he might be away. The expectation is Castro will return home to the Dominican Republic and likely go on the bereavement list.
“It’s a family tragedy,” manager Rick Renteria said, “so we’ll just take it one day at a time.”
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Castro had played in all 125 games this season and reported to work on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. He was hitting cleanup in the initial version of Wednesday’s lineup before the Cubs made the changes.
Javier Baez – the mega-prospect who started playing second base at Triple-A Iowa last month – went back to his natural position and took over at shortstop in an 8-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
To this point, Castro had been enjoying a bounce-back year, returning to the All-Star Game and hitting .284 with 13 homers and 64 RBI, again looking comfortable and confident.
Iowa infielder Logan Watkins would appear to be the logical choice to take Castro’s roster spot in the short-term.