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Darwin Barney, Anthony Rizzo benefit from lineup shuffle

StarlCastro

Starlin Castro

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Updated: July 23, 2013 6:21AM



Cubs manager Dale Sveum has been a hitting coach, and his message is common among those in his trade: Stay ready to hit any pitch.

‘‘What gets in the way is a hitter having different mind-sets at different at-bats,’’ he said Friday.

Worse is having the mind-set of failure.

‘‘It comes down to a failure factor — they’re in that mind-set of worrying about failing instead of succeeding,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘That will hurt you all the time.’’

Sveum has shuffled his lineup often, doing it again Friday as he dropped still-struggling Starlin Castro to fifth.

Castro went 1-for-4 with a double, but the change worked well for Darwin Barney, who batted first for only the sixth time this season and went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run.

The change also was good for Anthony Rizzo, who hit his first home run since May 18. Rizzo batted fourth.

Bench strength

The roster still has 13 pitchers, though the impending return of catcher Steve Clevenger from the disabled list could change that.

Clevenger (strained oblique) is hitting .340 in 14 games at Class AAA Iowa on a rehab assignment.

Farm factors

Most of the college players drafted two weeks ago will be reporting to rookie ball in Boise, vice president of scouting Jason McLeod said.

At Class A Daytona, prospect Jorge Soler (shin injury) was activated from the disabled list.

But 2007 first-round draft pick Josh Vitters continues to be sidelined by back soreness and hasn’t played for Class AAA Iowa since late May.

‘‘It’s been a tough year for him,’’ McLeod said of the third baseman. ‘‘Because of where he is and how high he got drafted, people think he’s 25, but he’s still fairly young [23]. Hopefully we can get him on track.’’

The chosen one

Pitcher Mark Appel, the No. 1 overall pick selected by the Astros two weeks ago, signed his contract this week. The Cubs, who followed Houston, are expected to sign their choice, third baseman Kris Bryant, within the next two weeks.

Minor deal

The Cubs traded Brent Lillibridge, who has been at Iowa since being dropped from the 40-man roster, to the Yankees for a player to be named or cash.



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