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Cubs’ slumping Starlin lacking discipline

Julio Borbon

Julio Borbon

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Shortstop Starlin Castro played in his 500th major-league game Sunday, and at 23, he’s a two-time All-Star with a hefty long-term contract.

Castro has 589 career hits already, but he has only two in his last 20 at-bats.

Manager Dale Sveum said Castro’s slugging percentage and OPS need to get more consistent. He’s also batting only .258.

Sveum pointed to a lack of plate discipline as one of the reasons for Castro’s struggles.

‘‘The biggest thing is, we know he’ll swing at pitches out of the zone, but he’s not doing anything with the drivable pitches now,’’ Sveum said.

Short trip

A two-game series against the Los Angeles Angels begins Tuesday, but the Cubs will be home again Friday to play the Pittsburgh Pirates, another oddity of this year’s schedule.

The Cubs will make four more West Coast trips this season, but this is the only two-game trip.

‘‘We know the history of the West Coast is no fun,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘It’s hard to go there, and if you play .500 on the West Coast, you’ve done a pretty good job.’’

Days off on Monday and Thursday will help.

Draft time

The two-day amateur draft begins Thursday, and the Cubs hold the No. 2 pick as well as Nos. 41 and 75.

Vice president of scouting/player development Jason McLeod said the team has spent more time evaluating for the later picks than the top pick.

‘‘We’ve probably discussed No. 2 for two hours in the last four days,’’ McLeod said. ‘‘We’ll get into those a lot more in the coming days.’’

The Houston Astros, with the top pick, and the Cubs are expected to focus on pitchers Jonathan Gray of Oklahoma and Mark Appel of Stanford.

‘‘We need to take the guy who gives us the best chance to win for him to provide significant impact,’’ McLeod said.


Pitcher Shawn Camp {strained right toe) will throw a bullpen session in Anaheim on the road trip, and catcher Steve Clevenger (left oblique strain) begins rehabbing at Class AAA Iowa on Monday.

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