Castro to begin major league action

MESA, Ariz. -- Barring any setbacks with his right hamstring, Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro should finally play with the major league team in exhibition games one or both of the next two days against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Castro has been limited to minor league contests as he tests a hamstring he strained on March 2 sliding into second base. Initially diagnosed to be out 7 to 10 days, Castro has only played in two Cactus League games as Opening Day approaches.

"Yesterday [Wednesday] was a really good day for Starlin," general manager Jed Hoyer said Thursday morning. "He was able to be aggressive."

Castro says he's 100 percent.

"I don't feel anything," he stated. "I'm moving on defense."

He was able to play the field and run the bases at full speed on Wednesday and he'll play all nine innings in another minor league affair on Thursday. The Cubs take on the Diamondbacks on Friday and Saturday before opening the regular season in Pittsburgh on Monday.

"Assuming he gets through that [Thursday's game] he should be able to get into games at Chase Field Friday or Saturday," Hoyer said.

The Cubs are debating if he should play in both games against Arizona or take a "rest day." Castro never likes taking days off and once again wants to try and play in 162 games. That may or may not happen considering he's coming off an injury and the Cubs will start playing in cold weather next week.

He's looking to have a rebound season after hitting just .245 last year.

"The show [regular season] is coming," Castro said. "I'm ready."