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Saturday, February 27, 2010
Marmol plunks Castro in BP

By Bruce Levine

Shortstop prospect Starlin Castro was hit in the backside in BP and then jammed and brushed back by closer Carlos Marmol.

“Yeah, Castro got clunked in the behind,” Piniella said. “He didn’t leave though. He stood in there, to his credit.”

Watching Castro in practice, he looked confident taking good swings off of front-line Cubs pitchers.

Rammy's BP: Third baseman Aramis Ramirez refused to take batting practice against teammates during live BP on Saturday. When asked about it, Ramirez said he never takes batting practice against teammates. That’s just something he doesn’t like to do.

Jones praises Byrd: White Sox outfielder Andruw Jones told me the Cubs got a real winner in outfielder Marlon Byrd.

“He will help them on the field and in the Clubhouse,” said Jones, who played with Byrd last season in Texas. “He’s not afraid to stand up and tell a guy to get in line if he sees something wrong.”

Jones said that Byrd’s outfield play has improved dramatically over the last four seasons.

“We talked a lot last year,” Jones said. “He picked my brain on certain areas of outfield play. I really enjoyed playing with him.”

Help wanted: Piniella said he’s looking for six players to stand up and take jobs this spring.

“Realistically, we’re looking for two starting pitchers, two relievers and two bench players. That’s about what we have open,” Piniella said.

Lilly's status: Ted Lilly will attempt to have his first full workout in a week on Sunday. The always-aggressive Cubs pitcher is well behind the rest of the staff at this point.