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Castro gets his first day off

Starlin Castro has been struggling, so Dale Sveum is giving him Friday off. Cary Edmondson/US Presswire

Starlin Castro is getting his first day off of the season on Friday as Dale Sveum decided to rest the slumping shortstop as the Chicago Cubs open a three-game set in New York against the New York Mets.

“I wanted to give him a day off anyway before the break,” manager Dale Svenum told reporters. “Just kick back one day before the break and observe. Talk to him about scenarios.”

Castro went 0-for-4 on Thursday as his average dropped to .287, which is over 20 points lower than the .308 average he posted on June 23.

“He’s still going to be the best weapon on the bench,” Svenum said when asked if Castro would be available to pinch hit or if he would be getting the whole day off.

Sveum sounded on Thursday as if he wasn't going to rest Castro, but the lineup for Friday didn't feature the All-Star shortstop.

Here's a look at Friday's lineup:

Reed Johnson, RF

Darwin Barney, SS

Anthony Rizzo, 1B

Alfonso Soriano, LF

Jeff Baker, 2B

Geovany Soto, C

Joe Mather, CF

Luis Valbuena, 3B

Travis Wood, P

ESPN New York's Mike Mazzeo contributed to this report.