Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Extra bases

• It's been a lot more entertaining to watch Jorge Soler in person than on video.

Soler, one of the Cubs' top prospects, impressed Cubs manager Dale Sveum with a perfect strike on a throw from right to third base in Thursday's game.

"He doesn't just have a good arm but an accurate arm," Sveum said Friday. "That's an added plus to a guy with the tools. A lot of time, you have the arm but it's all over the place. He's got a good feel for accuracy. Even his at-bats -- I know he's striking out a little bit but he's seeing pitches. It's not a premeditated-type swing."

Sveum had not seen Soler live until a workout last fall at Wrigley Field. Spring Training is giving him and the Cubs brass a chance to see the Cuban outfielder in game situations.

"For a young guy, he doesn't play out of control at all," Sveum said.

Soler hit a triple with two outs in the eighth inning Friday, and he is 3-for-12 this spring.

• Starlin Castro's left hamstring was still tight, but the shortstop may be back in a game by Monday. Castro had to leave Wednesday's game after he felt some discomfort. He expected to resume hitting on Saturday in the batting cage.

Matt Garza, sidelined with a strained left lat since Feb. 17, was able to play catch for the second time since he was injured on Saturday. Garza was able to long toss on Thursday for about 15 minutes.

Dontrelle Willis, who came out of Monday's game because of fatigue in his left shoulder, is pain free and has resumed throwing in the Cubs' Minor League camp.

• The Cubs will play the first of five split-squad games on the schedule on Sunday. Nick Struck, who was the Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012, will start against the Angels in Tempe and Edwin Jackson will make his second spring start against the Brewers at HoHoKam Stadium. The game in Mesa will be Anthony Rizzo's last with the Cubs before he joins Team Italy for the World Baseball Classic.