By Bruce Levine-
MESA, Ariz. (CBS) — If Cubs three-time All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro can stay healthy on the field and safe off of it, he will consider 2015 a successful season.READ MORE: Two Chicago Police Officers Wounded By Accidental Friendly Fire While Confronting Suspect In Lyons, Police Say
Castro ended the 2014 campaign with an ankle injury that wiped out the last three weeks of an otherwise successful season for him in which he hit .292 with 14 homers, 65 RBIs and a .777 OPS. Then during the offseason, the 25-year-old Castro was caught in the area of two separate shooting incidents in his native Dominican Republic.
The first problem has been addressed with a stringent offseason conditioning program. This plan was set up with trainer Tim Buss and the Cubs front office to address the issue after Castro dealt with hamstring pulls the past two springs. Castro returned to the United State in January to get his legs ready for the rigors of a 162-game season and also for his own well-being after scary incidents.
As far as the shooting incidents go, it became evident to Castro, agent Paul Kinzer and the Cubs that moving full-time to the United States would make life easier and safer for the affable player and his family. Currently, he’s renting in the States and is considering buying a place in Arizona or Florida to move his family to, he said.
“God has put us in situations that we have to know how important we are,” Castro said. “We must learn to do the right things.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Cool Changes
“This (decision) is not easy. It’s not easy, because all my family is from there. And I love being there. I’ve grown up there. It’s not easy, but in some ways it may be better for me (to move).”
Castro said that he was fine in his home but admitted ending up in the wrong place two times too often this offseason.
“If I stayed home and chilled with my family, those problems aren’t going to happen,” he said.
As it is, the reality of a 25-year-old millionaire staying in his house all of the time appears remote, so the move to the United State would make good sense.MORE NEWS: North Side Condo Building Residents Alarmed By Mail Thefts Apparently Committed Using A Master Key
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.