Bruised Castro says he's ready for Cards

CHICAGO -- With an ice pack strapped to his arm from the middle of his biceps to the middle of his forearm, Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was confident he would be able to start Monday night in the opener of a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In the seventh inning Sunday, Castro was drilled in the left elbow by a pitch from Reds starter Johnny Cueto. He immediately went to the ground, holding his arm, and received a visit at home plate from a member of the training staff as well as manager Dale Sveum.

After about a minute, Castro convinced everybody he was fine and advanced to first base.

“I feel like it broke my whole arm,” Castro said. “But after going to the ground and then running the bases, the hurt was gone. I feel good.”

The 22-year old shortstop said swelling was minimal.

“A little bit on top; not right on the bone,” he said when asked where the ball made contact. “I’m very good. I’m ready for tomorrow, of course.”

He was already fine two innings after he was hit, connecting on a ninth-inning triple to right-center field and scoring the final run as the Cubs fell just short, 4-3, to the Reds.

“Obviously he had one heck of an at-bat there off [Reds reliever Sean] Marshall and hit a triple,” Sveum said. “He was fine. I think he was a little more shocked. I don’t think it quite got him on the bone, it got him more on the flesh, thank god.”