- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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Former Chicago Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell returned to Wrigley Field on Monday as the bench coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he's happy to see the development in at least one of his former pupils.
Trammell worked hard with Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro during the 2010 Cubs season, and he seems happy to see his former protege get off to a good start.
"He just turned 21 a few weeks ago, and there will be some growing pains," Trammell said. "But the sky is the limit [for Castro]. He's a good student.
"I saw him today and he thanked me. Even though I won't be there anymore, I'll be following him for the rest of his career. He's a solid kid. But there are going to be some growing pains still."
Castro said that Trammell was instrumental in helping him become a better player.
"He helped me a lot with baseball and also as a person," Castro said. "I'm going to miss having him around."
Trammell also has kept in touch with former manager Lou Piniella.
"I talked to him a couple of times," he said. "He's doing fine. He's missed it, but now in his new job it's a way for him to stay involved in the game and stay at home. I'm happy for him."
Piniella was hired as a special assistant for San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean during the offseason.
Trammell was asked if he thought Piniella would ever manage again. "I've been around long enough to say 'never say never,' but it would really have to be something he wants."
Trammell has no negative feelings toward the Cubs franchise.
"Everybody was up front with me, Trammell said. "I'll be honest with you guys, if [Cubs' manager Mike Quade] would have been named manager before the season was over, or within a few days after it ended, I most likely would have stayed."
Trammell had a discussion Cubs general manager Jim Hendry during the Cubs' last road trip of the season, and was told that although he might be offered the job for the 2011 season, he was free to check out any other possibilities.
Alan Trammell remains a fan of Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro.