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Extra bases

• Castro has tried to help top prospect Javier Baez deal with the ups and downs of baseball, sending encouraging messages to the young shortstop.

Baez batted .172 in 15 games in April at Triple-A Iowa, and he hit .250 in 29 games in May.

"I told him to keep playing, it's still early," Castro said of his text messages to Baez. "'You're good. You can't get frustrated with 40 games, 50 games.'"

Castro said Baez seemed to be in a better place now. Manny Ramirez was expected to join Iowa soon as a player-coach, although it was uncertain when he would be with the Minor League team. Castro thought Ramirez could help the young players.

"He's good," Castro said. "He looks like he's crazy, but he's not. He works a lot. I talked to a lot of people who played with him, and he's crazy sometimes, but he works. He works a lot, and he's respected a lot."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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