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Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres, Mesa, Arizona, Saturday 3/24, 3:05 CT

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Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto rounds the bases after his home run in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Credit: Allan Henry-US PRESSWIRE
Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto rounds the bases after his home run in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Credit: Allan Henry-US PRESSWIRE

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Happy 22nd birthday, Starlin Castro.

This is a reminder of just how young Castro is, and just how good he is. Some people his age have just been drafted out of college and are starting minor league careers, or did late last summer. Others that age, who might have been chosen out of high school or signed from the Dominican Republic or another foreign country, could be playing Double-A or Triple-A ball this year and, if they're really good, just on the cusp of beginning major league careers.

Castro was an All-Star in 2011 and likely will be one again this year, had a 200-hit season and could be developing mid-range power. If he can solidify his defense, he's right on the edge of superstardom.

At 22.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus RF, Byrd CF, DeWitt 2B, Soriano LF, Baker 3B, Barney SS, Mather 1B, W. Castillo C, T. Wood P

Padres lineup:

Venable CF, Gyorko 3B, Alonso 1B, Darnell LF, Grandal C, Hermida RF, Parrino SS, Galvez 2B, Bass P

This is a split squad of Padres; their other half is playing a home game against the Reds, which accounts for the lack of recognizable names in their lineup today.

Travis Wood will start for the Cubs, and be followed by Randy Wells. Both could be out of the rotation. After that, James Russell, Blake Parker and Lendy Castillo will go.

For the Padres, it'll be Anthony Bass, followed by Ernesto Frieri (who sounds like an Italian composer), Micah Owings and Miles Mikolas.

Today's game on WGN-TV with Len Kasper and Bob Brenly, and on WGN radio with Pat Hughes and Keith Moreland. Here is the MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Note that for spring training gameday links, you probably will not get pitch-by-pitch as during the regular season; these are unofficial links. Each play will be posted, but might not be updated until after each half-inning.

There will be one overflow thread, which will post at 4:30 pm CT. The "Recent Stories in Game Threads" box on the sidebar is where you'll find it.

Please visit our SB Nation Padres site Gaslamp Ball. Careful over there, too. They don't seem to like us much.

Discuss amongst yourselves.