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Crowd at catcher doesn't deter Castillo

Backstop hopes to remain with Cubs despite additions of Montero, Ross

MESA, Ariz. -- Manager Joe Maddon says there's room on the Cubs' roster for three catchers. He'll just have to be a little creative.

Welington Castillo has been the starter the last two seasons, but the Cubs traded for Miguel Montero and signed free agent David Ross in December. Both have multi-year deals.

"I'm still a Chicago Cub," Castillo said Friday. "I'm just here to get better, keep working hard like I always do. I can't control [what happens]."

Neither Castillo, Montero or Ross can play any other positions besides catcher. How can the Cubs go with three?

"You can do it," Maddon said. "It will take a lot of creativity."

Castillo has been in Tampa, Fla., since early January to work with a personal trainer there. He didn't blame injuries for his struggles last season when he batted .237 in 110 games. Castillo hit .274 in 2013.

Video: [email protected]: Castillo makes the snag by the netting

"I don't like to make excuses," said Castillo, who was sidelined last season with a left rib cage strain. "I think I just put too many expectations on myself, too much pressure to get better than what I did the year before. I think that was hurting me a little bit. At the end of the day, I realized it hurt me and I put too much pressure trying to do better. I didn't just let my ability take care of it and play and go out and have fun. I think that was all on me."

Castillo has grown up in the Cubs organization and doesn't want to leave.

"I want to be part of this team," Castillo said. "This is the team that signed me when I was 17 years old. I want to win here. Whatever happens, happens. I just let them do their thing. All I can do is go out and have fun and play hard and get better."

Maddon said his message to Castillo was the same as the one he gave everyone else.

"The team has not been set," Maddon said. "There's weeks left. A lot of things can happen between Feb. 20 and the start of the baseball season."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
Read More: Chicago Cubs, Welington Castillo