6/26/2013 9:52 P.M. ET
Castro returns to lineup ready to start new season
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Starlin Castro was back in the Cubs lineup Wednesday, ready to begin what he's considering a new season.
Castro, who sat Tuesday for the first time since Aug. 22, 2011, ending a streak of 269 consecutive games played, was batting .228, which prompted the day off.
"Hopefully, he had the opportunity to kick back and enjoy the day," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Hopefully, he gets back to the player he is."
"I know I can hit," Castro said. "I just have to go out there and do the best I can and play hard every day."
Sveum's message to the two-time All-Star shortstop: Don't try to get four hits every at-bat.
"He told me, 'Be you. I know you can hit. Be the Starlin Castro you always are. Don't try to do too much, don't try to hit .300 in one at-bat. That's not going to happen,'" Castro said. "That's the situation I'm in right now. It happens to every player. He doesn't care who you are -- it happens to everybody. I'm going to finish my year good."
So, a new season starts Wednesday?
"Believe it," Castro said.
Report: Cubs to get OK for some Wrigley changes
MILWAUKEE -- The Commission on Chicago Landmarks will give the Cubs the go-ahead to extend the right- and left-field walls outward at Wrigley Field, build a new entrance, and remodel the dugouts, but it will not make a decision on outfield signs at a meeting on Thursday, according to a newspaper report.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday that the commission will postpone a decision on the proposed 6,000-square foot video scoreboard in left and a 1,000-square foot see-through sign in right until a regularly scheduled July 11 meeting.
The Sun-Times said Alderman Tom Tunney, who represents the Lake View area around Wrigley Field, is asking for major changes in the outfield signage, and wants the video scoreboard reduced to 4,500 square feet and the right-field sign to be no more than 600 square feet.
Tunney also does not want a pedestrian bridge over Clark Street, which would connect a proposed hotel with a new office building, and does not want a rooftop bar on the hotel.
The landmark commission had called a special meeting for Thursday to discuss the Cubs' proposals, part of its five-year, $300 million renovation plan. The Cubs are urging approval to prepare for offseason construction on the ballpark.
Cubs spokesman Julian Green told the Sun-Times they need the larger video scoreboard and sign in right to generate the resources needed.
Rizzo reflects on anniversary of Cubs promotion
MILWAUKEE -- There was no cake or balloons in the clubhouse, but Wednesday was a milestone day, marking the one-year anniversary of when the Cubs promoted Anthony Rizzo from the Minor Leagues.
In his Cubs debut, the first baseman went 2-for-4 with a game-winning RBI double in the fourth against the Mets.
"There was a lot of uncertainty, to be honest, because of what happened to me in San Diego, and that was fresh in my mind," said Rizzo, who batted .141 in 49 games with the Padres in 2011 in his first Major League action.
"Coming up and doing well at first was the best thing to ever happen to me, to get that whole San Diego thing out of my head completely. I can finally say it's way in the past."
Since June 26, 2012, Rizzo has appeared in 161 games, hit 27 home runs, and driven in 92 runs. His 65 extra-base hits in that span are second most among National League first baseman, trailing only Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt (70).
"When he got here, he took off right away and had a great first six weeks, and then tailed off and finished up pretty well," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Rizzo, who batted .330 last July to be named NL Rookie of the Month.
"He's one of those guys who is all in to his defense and his work ethic and trying to make himself a better player every day," Sveum said. "The rest falls into place when you have that kind of mentality. The hands are there, the ability to hit is there. He's already produced at the big league level. The power numbers -- they only get better when you have that kind of work ethic and mindset."
Rizzo is sporting the same hair cut he did when called up last year.
"I got sick of my hair -- I had long hair last year in Triple-A," Rizzo said. "I cut it two days before I got called up. [This year], I cut it three days ago."
So, could he win NL Player of the Month honors again?
"Yeah, let's repeat that," Rizzo said, smiling.
• Alfonso Soriano did not start Wednesday and will likely be the Cubs' designated hitter when they play six Interleague games in American League West ballparks, starting Friday in Seattle.
Brian Bogusevic, called up from Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday, started in left field Wednesday against the Brewers, and will do so against the Mariners and Athletics, manager Dale Sveum said.
"You want to keep that bat going, and you don't want him to sit too long," Sveum said of Bogusevic, who hit .319 with 14 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, 32 RBIs and 16 stolen bases with Iowa.
• The Cubs have yet to sign their first-round pick, third baseman Kris Bryant, but Sveum is eager to see the infielder play as soon as possible. Of course, fans want to know how quickly Bryant will be in the Major Leagues.
"You can't put a timetable on kids like that getting to the big leagues," Sveum said. "Hopefully, everything goes well and you get those kind of players with that kind of power and leverage in their swing, you want to get them here early, but you don't want to do anything to wreck his development either."
The Cubs are counting on the young prospects in their system to take the team to a World Series. That's a lot of pressure.
"You hope people don't get too anxious," Sveum said, "and say, 'Man, there's openings here, there's openings there. Man, I've got to do this to get to the big leagues soon.' You try to do too much and can wreck your own development."
• Class A Daytona outfielder Jorge Soler was set to be examined in Chicago. He's been sidelined with a sore left shin, injured when he fouled a ball off his leg. Soler went on the seven-day disabled list, which ended on Saturday, and has yet to play. He is supposed to see the Cubs' medical staff this week.
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.