Rick Renteria

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MESA, Ariz. – Starlin Castro’s hamstring is feeling better, good enough that the Cubs shortstop still plans to play 162 games this season.

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. – The Cubs have one obvious candidate to start Opening Day in Jeff Samardzija, the longest-tenured guy on the team and a 200-innings/200-strikeouts force.

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MESA, Ariz. – It only seems like it’s all Javier Baez all the time at Cubs Park.

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MESA, Ariz. – This has been a different spring for Jeff Samardzija. He’s a clubhouse elder statesman now, the media’s go-to guy and a trade-rumors magnet.

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MESA, Ariz. – James Russell is an old-school reliever. He grew up in big-league clubhouses. He wants the ball. He doesn’t think the Cubs have overworked him.

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