Quade working around minor injuries

March, 14, 2011
Levine By Bruce Levine
[+] EnlargeStarlin Castro
Kyle Terada/US PresswireCubs shortstop Starlin Castro had a big -- and slightly painful -- weekend playing in Las Vegas.
MESA, Ariz. -- Minor injuries have manager Mike Quade scrambling to fill lineups for Tuesday as the Chicago Cubs prepare to play their last split-squad games of the spring.

Shortstop Starlin Castro, who went 6 for 6 in two games during the Cubs' Las Vegas trips over the weekend, bruised his right knee during a slide into second base on Sunday.

"He just got bruised up," Quade said. "He could have played [Monday]."

Backup infielder Augie Ojeda, who is trying to make the team as a a non-roster invitee, has come up with some back issues.

"He had a little back spasm five days ago," Quade said. "He gets them once in a while. I put him in one inning against the White Sox, and he didn't feel so good. It's a day-to-day thing hopefully."

Outfielder Brad Snyder has an oblique strain and hasn't practiced for a week. Quade said there is no timetable for him to swing a bat anytime soon.

Quade also got some good news about injured reliever John Grabow, who is nursing a sore left shoulder. Grabow had a strong side session on Monday morning, and Quade said if Grabow doesn't have any setbacks he will pitch Thursday in his first Cactus League game since Feb. 27.

Outfielder Brett Jackson, the Cubs' No. 1 draft pick in 2009, bruised his left shoulder trying to make a diving catch in Las Vegas on Sunday. Quade said Jackson is day to day and he might DH on Tuesday.

Quade isn't sure which game he will attend on Tuesday. Andrew Cashner starts against the Oakland Athletics in Phoenix, Ariz., and Randy Wells starts against the Colorado Rockies in Mesa.

Asked if he is any closer to a decision on the fourth and fifth starters, Quade said: "I'm not any closer to nailing stuff down. But of that mix, whether it's the bullpen or the fourth and fifth spot, I think a lot of guys have been better lately. That's what we are looking for. Until I have to make a decision we'll just let this thing play out."

Last week Quade said he would decide his fourth and fifth starter between March 20 and 26. The Cubs will make their first roster cuts on Wednesday, their only off day of the spring, or Thursday.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.



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Starlin Castro
.292 14 65 58
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
WJ. Arrieta 10
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167