Starlin Castro gets first game off

NEW YORK -- Starlin Castro was out of Chicago's lineup for the first time this season because manager Dale Sveum wanted to watch the game with the Cubs' prized young shortstop.

Sveum said he wanted to talk about game situations with the 22-year-old Castro, who has committed more than his share of mental mistakes.

In San Francisco a month ago, he trotted off the field with the ball in his glove after taking a throw from after a one-out grounder with the bases loaded, thinking he'd just made the third out. The Giants scored the tying run on the play, and beat the Cubs 3-2.

Last August, he was seen on national TV not watching as a pitch was delivered, and was benched for a game.

"I wanted to give him a day off anyway before the break," Sveum said. "Just kick back one day before the break and observe ... talk to him about scenarios."

The Cubs' best young player will be spending the hiatus in Kansas City for his second All-Star Game.

Sveum said that if Castro had been hitting well, he might have delayed the break, but Castro has five hits in his past 11 games. For the season, Castro is still hitting .287 with 16 steals, six home runs and 40 RBIs. He also has 13 errors -- putting him on pace to improve on last season's 29 in 158 games.

Castro entered in a double switch in the bottom of the seventh inning on Friday night, moving Darwin Barney from shortstop to second base, and sending Jeff Baker to the bench.