CHICAGO -- In Spring Training, Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he thought Starlin Castro reminded him of a young Edgar Renteria. But the player whom Castro has followed the most is Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez.
On Monday against the Marlins, Castro didn't make a good impression, committing three errors.
"He's going to be fine," Ramirez said Tuesday about the young Cubs shortstop. "He's got to forget last night. He's a good player. He had a really good at-bat against Nate [Robertson]. His approach is very good. He looks like a big leaguer at home plate. He's just got to keep doing what he's doing."
Ramirez talked to Castro before Monday's game and warned him that the game is the same, but "it's going to be faster."
"I think the pace of the players up here is so much faster," Ramirez said. "It happens like this [snapped fingers]. That was the difference I saw. You've just got to slow yourself down too. Sometimes, you try to speed it up, too, and it can get you."
Piniella wasn't too worried about the young shortstop, who was called up from Double-A Tennessee on Friday. Castro has already experienced the highs and lows of baseball. He set a Major League record with six RBIs in his debut game last Friday in Cincinnati, and then Monday made three miscues.
"We're going to grow with him," Piniella said.
The Cubs' coaches talked to Castro after the game about one of the plays in which he didn't hustle after a ball, which, coincidentally, was hit by Ramirez. Ramirez hustled to second on the ball. This has been a crash course on big league baseball.
"We've talked to him more than anything else about the tags at second base and how to properly get that glove down," Piniella said.
"He'll be fine," Piniella said. "Let's not get too occupied with this. He's got a learning curve ahead of him, and he's got the perfect guy in [Alan] Trammell and [Ivan] DeJesus to help him and a wonderful hitting coach [in Rudy Jaramillo]. He'll be taken care of the right way."
Alfonso Soriano has taken Castro under his wing, letting the young shortstop stay with him in his Chicago condo.
"We have to remember he's 20 years old," said Cubs player development director Oneri Fleita. "He's a tough kid. He's been battle tested. He'll bounce back."
Aramis Ramirez also talked to Castro after the game.
"I told him that last night, 'That's baseball,'" Ramirez said. "It can happen to anybody. I'm pretty sure if you watch baseball long enough, you'll see that happen to somebody else. It's not going to happen only to Starlin. He'll be a good player."
Piniella tweaks lineup, with Lee hitting fourth
CHICAGO -- In an effort to get the offense going, manager Lou Piniella made what he called a "subtle" lineup change Tuesday and inserted Marlon Byrd into the No. 3 spot in place of Derrek Lee, who was batting .211.
Lee has hit third in all but one game this season, and that was one he did not start. Byrd leads the Cubs with a .344 average and 22 RBIs.
"It is what it is," Lee said. "I'm batting fourth. I'll go out and do my best, and hopefully it works."
Byrd has hit everywhere in the lineup in his career, but has the fewest at-bats in the No. 3 spot, where he's 26-for-92 (.283) in 29 games. The center fielder is one of five players in the Cubs' lineup batting more than .300.
"What's amazing about our situation is we have five guys in the lineup hitting .300, we're fourth or so in the league with a .270 batting average and we struggle to score runs," Piniella said. "We're second in the league in left-on-base, which tells a little bit of the story.
"It's hard for me to believe that we can't consistently score four or more runs a game with the people we have here," he said.
Lee and Aramis Ramirez have not been able to get on track. Ramirez, who has been one of the most consistent clutch hitters in the game, was batting .163.
"We need for them to hit for us to score runs consistently," Piniella said. "I don't know exactly what our choices are. [Alfonso] Soriano's been swinging the bat well and we don't want to disturb that situation. [Geovany] Soto's doing his job nice in the seventh hole. We have our leadoff people, who are getting on base.
"We get the middle part of our lineup hitting and we're going to score runs," Piniella said. "It's all set up. It's just a question of getting it done. I don't know what else we can do. You've got to be patient. I wish I had this patience in a lot of other things I do."
The Cubs rank fifth in batting average at .272, but are 15th in runners left on, stranding 254.
Both Lee and Ramirez are working with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, but both also are quick to say they know their swings best.
"I am my own hitting coach," Ramirez said Tuesday. "I listen to Rudy, but I know what I have to do to be ready."
Whatever that is, it isn't working.
"They've done it before and they've had a lot of success," Piniella said. "I don't see where it becomes a mental thing. I would hope not, anyway."
Piniella also tweaked the top of the order, switching Ryan Theriot and Kosuke Fukudome. There's a method to this.
"What we're going to try to do is create a couple hit-and-run situations if we can," Piniella said. "Theriot hits the ball to right. Fukudome's on-base percentage is a little over .400."
It's been 33 games, and Piniella is still searching for the right combination.
"I've said many times there's no difference between hitting first or second or third or fourth," he said. "I think if you talk to these guys, they'll tell you the same thing. When I played, as long as my name was in the lineup, I was happy. You're not going to change your hitting style."
Chiefs to get taste of Wrigley on July 7
CHICAGO -- For one day, the Peoria Chiefs won't be dining on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They can dress in a big league clubhouse, complete with flat screen TVs, leather lounge chairs and a yogurt machine.
On July 7, the Cubs' Class A team will face the Kane County Cougars at Wrigley Field in the third annual Road to Wrigley game presented by PNC Bank. First pitch will be 7:05 p.m. CT.
The matchup features the series' two inaugural teams. On July 29, 2008, the first Road to Wrigley game between the Chiefs and Cougars drew 32,103 fans. The Triple-A Iowa Cubs played at Wrigley Field last year.
"This is a day to say you were in the big leagues for a day and really get a taste of what Wrigley is all about," said Cubs player development director Oneri Fleita.
The Peoria Chiefs also will hold a special ceremony June 11, when they retire Greg Maddux's No. 31. Maddux played there in 1985 and now is an assistant to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. Pete Vonachen, whose son Rocky is the Chiefs' president, talked to Maddux during the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas in 2008, when the four-time Cy Young Award winner announced his retirement.
Maddux's number will be the fourth to be retired by the team, joining Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grace and Wally Joyner.
"We were thinking about retiring Hector Villanueva's number," Pete Vonachen said of the former Cubs first baseman,"but we can't find him."
Cubs' error count rises with Tuesday's play
CHICAGO -- The Cubs made two errors Tuesday night, and now have committed at least one in their past six games. That's the most since a six-game span from Aug. 4-10, 2009.
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez made an error on Cameron Maybin's grounder with one out in the third and rookie shortstop Starlin Castro committed his fifth miscue in the eighth when he tried to back-hand Wes Helms' grounder.
"On that play, he called the third baseman off," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said of Castro's error. "It's more the third baseman's ball. He's going to learn."
The Cubs now have made 30 errors, tied for the most in the National League with the Florida Marlins.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.