GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In the third inning of the Dodgers' 11-5 loss to Kansas City on Wednesday, Juan Castro launched a booming three-run home run over the left-field bullpen. When he left the game after five innings and returned to the clubhouse, this note was posted on the bulletin board:
"Juan Castro: Please report to [Dodgers trainer] Stan Conte after the game for a mandatory steroid test."
"That's Casey," said Castro, accusing teammate Casey Blake of the clubhouse humor. "I know he did that."
Castro isn't known for home runs (36 in 13 seasons). It's a magical glove that has kept Castro in the big leagues this long, having debuted with the Dodgers in 1995 and now trying to hook on one more time as a non-roster invitee. It will technically be his fourth stint in the organization, having re-signed as a free agent this winter after rejoining the club last year following his release by Philadelphia.
Castro's competition for a sixth infield spot -- if the Dodgers even keep that many -- includes Aaron Miles, Justin Sellers and Ivan DeJesus. If the Dodgers keep six outfielders -- Xavier Paul is out of options -- they can't carry five infielders, unless they carry 11 pitchers instead of 12.
Now 38, the Mexican native said he really didn't give retirement a thought over the winter.
"I think I can play this year," he said. "They've have to take the jersey away from me. I feel different than I did 10 years ago, but the next day when I wake up I don't feel that bad. My body is responding good. When I can't do things I'm supposed to do at this level, that'll be it."
He said he has talked to Dodgers Hall of Fame Spanish broadcaster Jaime Jarrin about a possible career at the microphone whenever he is done, but he's also thought about international scouting.
"With my experience in baseball, I can help an organization," he said.