Castro returns to action, eyes 162 games played

Castro returns to action, eyes 162 games played

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Starlin Castro went 1-for-3 as he returned to the Cubs' lineup Wednesday after missing five days because of tightness in his right groin, and the shortstop is eager to play 162 games this season.

Castro, who turned 25 on Tuesday, had not played since March 19 in a game against the D-backs, when he made a fielding error that led to two runs. He admitted Wednesday that he hadn't been feeling good on the field.

"I lost a little bit of confidence those couple days, and I worked on my defense," Castro said. "[Tuesday], I took some extra ground balls and started feeling better.

"I didn't feel really good out there on defense [last week]. It's not a big deal."

One of his goals is to play all 162 games, but Castro didn't think he needed to say anything to manager Joe Maddon about that.

"Not yet, but I think they know," Castro said. "They know I want to play, that I want to be there every day. It doesn't matter if today is a bad game, tomorrow's a bad game, I don't care. I'm here, trying to grow up every day and trying to be a better player."

Castro is also looking forward to the start of the regular season, even if Wrigley Field won't quite be ready.

"We're feeling pretty good we're starting a new season with new people here," Castro said. "I think it'll be really exciting. We don't have bleachers, but it doesn't matter. We'll have a new scoreboard -- I think it's going to be really happy."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.