Cubs don't expect carryover from interference call
Castro able to laugh after Robinson's hard slide ends game Tuesday
ST. LOUIS -- Shortstop Starlin Castro may have feared for his life when pinch-runner Shane Robinson came charging at him in the ninth inning Tuesday night, but the Cubs didn't expect any repercussions after the game-ending play.
The Cardinals trailed 4-2 in the ninth and had runners at first and second with one out. David Freese hit a grounder to second baseman Darwin Barney, who flipped to Castro for the force at second. Robinson, who was on first, slid hard into Castro and well off the bag, and second-base umpire Fieldin Culbreth called interference on the play. The game was over.
After the game, Castro said: "I couldn't throw the ball because he tried to kill me."
Fortunately, Castro could laugh after he said that.
"It was the right call," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Wednesday. "He's trying not to end the game. Luckily, on our part, the umpire made the right call."
Was it a dirty play?
"I hope our players would do the same thing in the same situation," Sveum said. "You know the game's over. He just slid too far away from the bag."
Told about Castro's comments, Sveum said he didn't expect any repercussions.
"You're trying to avoid having him throw the baseball and that's all there was," Sveum said. "There used to be a time when you could do that."
Castillo eager to learn from watching Cards' Molina
ST. LOUIS -- Manager Dale Sveum called Yadier Molina the "MVP of the league," and the Cubs are hoping Welington Castillo can learn from watching the Cardinals catcher.
Castillo's conversations so far with the St. Louis backstop have consisted of in-game comments between the two during their at-bats, and that's it.
"I would like to [talk to him]," Castillo said Wednesday. "I'd like to get everything I can from him. ... He's a great player, and he becomes better and better every year, so why not learn from him?"
Cubs coach Mike Borzello has Castillo, in his first season as the full-time catcher, watch video of Molina to learn more about how to handle the position.
"I think he's learned," Sveum said of Castillo. "Calling games is completely different because that comes and goes with each pitcher's stuff. You use Yadi as the cornerstone guy to watch on blocking and, obviously, throwing. Welly has one of the quicker releases in the game, if not the best, but you watch, and you watch video of [Molina]. That's the cornerstone guy you watch and try to emulate."
Hitting third for Cubs suits Schierholtz just fine
ST. LOUIS -- Anthony Rizzo was back in the Cubs lineup Wednesday, after getting a one-day "breather," but stayed in the No. 5 spot instead of returning to No. 3. Nate Schierholtz seems pretty comfortable batting third.
In four games, Schierholtz is 4-for-13 (.308) with one home run, one double and two RBIs. He entered Wednesday's game with a career-high 10-game hitting streak.
"There's no change," Schierholtz said of his approach. "Third to fifth isn't a whole lot different [in the order]. You hit in the first inning always on the road but other than that, I try to keep the same approach no matter where I'm hitting. I don't overthink it."
He also leads the Cubs in batting with runners in scoring position, hitting .313 this season.
"I have a game plan that I go up there with and I know it changes with runners on because pitchers pitch you different," Schierholtz said. "I just try to stick to my game plan and, like I said, not try to think too much and overanalyze anything."
He already has more doubles (18), home runs (nine) and RBIs (26) than he totaled last year between the Giants and Phillies. So far, it's been a good decision to sign with the Cubs.
"I signed here because I knew I'd have a chance to play here more than I have in the past," he said. "So far, I've played agianst every right-handed pitcher, which is great for me. My goal is to go out and help the team win and get on base and drive in runs. That's something I"ll continue to work on. I'm just happy that I've been given this opportunity."
• The Cubs may make a roster move Friday when they open a three-game Interleague series against the Astros, manager Dale Sveum said. The team is currently carrying eight relievers. One option would be to activate catcher Steve Clevenger from the disabled list. He's been sidelined since April 14 because of a left oblique strain and was currently rehabbing with Triple-A Iowa.
• There is no timetable for David DeJesus' return, but the outfielder will most likely be out at least one month after spraining his right shoulder in a collision last Friday at Citi Field.
"It's one of those injuries, from the time it happened a few days ago, it's definitely a month before he's back on the field," Sveum said.
Luis Valbuena has done well subbing as the leadoff man for DeJesus.
"[Valbuena] is a guy who has always been able to take his walks and see some pitches and drive the ball and do some things," Sveum said. "So far, it's really, really good."
• Seventh-round Draft pick David Garner, a right-handed pitcher who starred at Michigan State, has apparently signed with the Cubs. Garner's signing was announced by two other Cubs picks who have already signed. Trey Masek, a fifth-round selection, tweeted: "Congrats to my roommate @DG_token16 on signing today! #Cubs." Second-round pick Rob Zastryzny also tweeted: "Got another #Cubs player sign today! Congrats @DG_token16 on making it official."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.