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The Changing Role of Starlin Castro

The Changing Role of Starlin Castro
Starlin Castro

When Starlin Castro first came up, he was essentially asked to be a savior.  Just go up and hit -- and ignore the flaws.  For a team that was struggling, that was okay.  He was a fun player to watch at the plate.  It was, at the very least, a nice distraction.

When they first arrived, it seemed even this front office wasn't quite sure what to do with him.  They tried to get him to take more walks.  Then they tried to get him to turn on more pitches and hit for power.  Both approaches have met with mixed success.

Perhaps what this front office -- and everyone else -- underestimated is just how much Castro wants to win ball games.  It is something Jon Lester noticed almost right away.

"The plan (for Anthony Rizzo)  going up at each at-bat is there," Jon Lester said. "Him and [Starlin] Castro have had to grow up so fast. ... You can see the fire in their eyes. They want to win."

Lester would know about such things.  The intensity he showed on the mound yesterday was palpable.  Another player who puts his team first, Miguel Montero, doesn't want to see Castro go anywhere.

I've always said Castro was an instinctual hitter and sometimes trying to change what comes naturally is difficult -- and that goes for anybody.  What the Cubs (or maybe specifically Joe Maddon) have asked Castro to do now is to use that natural talent and instinct for hitting and re-purpose it.  They're  just asking him to help get runs home.

It was something the Cubs learned against the Cardinals.  While walks and slugging demonstrably leads to more runs scored -- and make no mistake, that is undoubtedly how the Cubs are building their offense, there will be times when runs can be tough to come by, times when they just have to just get the bat on the ball.  Put the ball in play and sometimes you make luck happen --  to me, that is the lesson to be learned from those recent losses against the Cardinals. We've read that Maddon had similar thoughts, saying he wants to see hitters going to a two-strike approach in various situations.  He has talked about the team needing fewer bad strikeouts -- and he doesn't mean bad in terms of quantity, but rather in terms of when they happen (those with men at 3B and less than two outs, for example).

Looking back to yesterday's game, the Cubs approach versus Gerrit Cole was to not let him get ahead so that he can go with one of his primary knockout pitches -- his hard slider low and away.  Instead, the plan was to pounce on those early strikes.  And when the Cubs got a runner to 3B in the first with less than two out, Castro did just that, jumping on a fastball up and over the plate -- a perfect pitch to elevate -- and took it deep into LF-CF for a sac fly.  That was absolutely textbook, but it was a little thing that got lost in a game filled with great pitching and great defense.

Castro would later drive in a second run, again with a runner on 3rd and less than two outs.  He did it again by simply by making contact and forcing the Pirates to make a difficult play, which they did not.  That was one more big run on the board in a game that figured to be a low scoring affair with two aces going head to head.  And considering the situation, it was important to get those runs home instead of having to rely on a struggling hitter (Chris Coghlan) to get a big two out hit.

Apart from what he has done at the plate, Castro is well-liked in the clubhouse and represents some continuity on this young roster, a consideration which should not be taken lightly.  He's becoming something of a glue guy for them.  Per Maddon, he is beginning to become a leader in the infield.

And that in itself is important for a Cubs infield that is just starting to come around.  It is still a work in progress with a new 3B in Kris Bryant and 2B Addison Russell learning a new position.  We saw some growing pains yesterday as Russell twice cut off Castro in the field when Castro was the only player with a chance to make a play.  It is a nuance that Russell will have to learn.  Sometimes just because you can get to a baseball (or make a throw), it doesn't always mean you should.  But that is all part of the learning process for any young infielder -- one that Castro himself has already had to experience over the years.

The Cubs may eventually decide to move a SS and it may well be Castro when all is said and done, but I sincerely hope they think it through.  Young middle infields tend to be mistake prone.  They need time to mature and work together.  Removing Castro from the equation is essentially asking the Cubs to start over and go through new growing pains again in 2016 -- a year where there is no question they will expect to contend for more than just a wildcard berth or even a division title.  Can they afford to have two players learn on the job to start next season knowing how important it is to get off to a strong start?

There are a lot of nuances here.  Javier Baez has re-entered the conversation with his improved play of late. Yes, we know that Maddon likes Javier Baez's instincts.  That is the reason du jour to justify a trade of Castro, but Maddon also undoubtedly likes Castro's ability to make contact when the situation calls for it.  The fact that he has moved him to the 4th spot of late indicates a lot of trust in that respect.  I am sure he appreciates the continuity and growing leadership from Castro as well.

It make take some time to get used to, but this isn't the same Castro.  This year's version has put team wins above his own numbers -- and that has value on a team that is going to get plenty of numbers elsewhere -- from Rizzo to Bryant to Soler and eventually, to Russell and Schwarber.   Maybe even Baez and McKinney too if the Cubs can make it all fit.

But let's not forget that Castro can and probably will put up some pretty good numbers in his own right.  It's just that this year the offensive burden isn't squarely only his shoulders anymore.  And while it may not be showing up on the stat sheet, Castro has quietly done the little things to help the Cubs win.   Most scouts, including our resident scout Kevin Gallo, will tell you that a team of all-stars is unrealistic.  You need role players too.

It is ironic in a sense that the Cubs 3 time all-star shortstop, the one player who once was considered the future star on an aging team, may end up being that guy who plays that less glamorous role, especially as he gets surrounded by more and more talent.  It is ironic that the player most often branded by outsiders as being selfish has perhaps sacrificed the most in terms of his individual numbers this season to fill a role the team needs.

The Cubs will do what they need to do in the next 10 months to make this a better, more complete team.  There are too many variables to speculate, much less pinpoint a precise preference on how to accomplish that.  It will depend in part on what is available and how much value they can get in return.  But as we saw this past offseason, the Cubs attack their needs from a global perspective.  They don't add piecemeal.  They identify what they want their roster to look like as a whole, how they want it to function as a unit.  For that you need players who fit within an overarching organizational culture and are able to fill much needed roles.  We've seen that with the Fowler, Montero, Lester, and Ross acquisitions, but perhaps nobody expected they may be able to fill in one of those roles from within -- much less from a guy who has been routinely criticized for not doing the little things to help the team win.

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  • The reasons you applaud Castro now, i.e., his ability to get runs home from 3rd with less than 2 outs (he did it twice yesterday w/o a hit) is why we need him now. Because if you look back at recent games, some of our youngsters couldn't/wouldn't do that. Soler struck himself out despite Familia not throwing him a single strike. Fortunately, Coghlan was able to "accept" the walk-off walk. Or twice Szczur bases loaded and fooled on a slider low and away and hits a weak flare into shallow right. We just got lucky that Polanco fell the second time...

    That's not to say I'm negative on either of those two players, or overly high on Castro. I just don't think he's the one to move, for now. IDK what they're going to do if Baez forces his way back onto the MLB club. That's a good problem to have though.

    O/T, but Russell is getting way to much credit for a great catch on that floater yesterday. It was great recovery from a bad angle, but not a great catch. If you go back and watch it, his first 4-5 steps are sideways along the edge of the grass, his last two and the leap were straight back. Yes, that took great athleticism, but his read and route on that was all wrong and inefficient. Again, not that I'm down on the kid, he's still learning 2B.

    http://m.cubs.mlb.com/chc/video/v118071583/?affiliateId=clubMEGAMENU

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Interesting point on Russell. I didn't notice until you pointed it out. He is certainly still learning and I think the Cubs have admitted as much on a few occasions. He has the ability, it is just the little nuances, taking the right angles -- he'll get it right.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Yeah I noticed that too Hoosier Daddy. Russell IMO looks like the least gifted of the organizations big 3 mid-infielders. Not as athletic as Castro, and Baez which means less range and less balls gotten to, as well as not being able to make difficult throws that just need raw arm strength. Russell looks like the most logical candidate to move to third IMO. That's why I believe Baez will be at second where he is excellent already. Amazing how fast he picked up going from SS to 2nd. He's just as young as Russell too. Baez IMO is clearly the best infielder we have in the organization from what I've seen. Should probably be at SS, but Castro has been just fine there, and why disrupt things now. As John stated there's something to be said for continuity. I also love the fearlessness of Baez. The way he hangs in there with a runner baring down on him. IDK just my 2 cents.

  • In reply to Johnny Hatelak:

    I'm glad I'm not the only one to see it that way Johnny. I think Baez is the most athletic & best defender of the 3. I also think Russell could be better than Castro, but with Castro becoming somewhat of a leader on the infield, keeping him makes sense

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    In reply to Killdagoat:

    I think Russell will make the routine play more smoothly, but no way does he have the flair for the spectacular play like Castro. I think that trumps maybe the 10 routine plays Castro may mess up to the plays that Russell won't be able to make because he has less Athleticism, range and arm. Baez' versatility is also a big plus. You can put him anywhere probably and he'll be a plus defensive player if given enough time to work at it.

  • In reply to Johnny Hatelak:

    Russell has less athleticism, range and arm? Are you hallucinating?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I think scouting reports say that Russell has the least range, but it's real close to the other 2.

  • Excellent article, John. Maybe my favorite you've ever written. Isn't it funny how a three-time all-star can fade from the spotlight so easily when he suddenly is surrounded by a ton of other talent? It just goes to show so much of the all-star vote is aided by each player having the platform to be seen. Castro may very well equal his stats from last year but could miss the team with all the other guys making the highlight reels.

  • In reply to CubbieRoad:

    Thank you, I appreciate that. I think you are right -- Castro has benefited from the influx of talent more than any other individual player.

  • I just don't think Castro is going anywhere. He is a clutch hitter on a team friendly contract. And he is walking more than Troy Tulowitski. My gut tells me they will use Baez as a centerpiece to acquire pitching. Once that happens hopefully all this talk of moving Castro will end.

  • In reply to TD40:

    I am looking forward to the end of trade speculation. I'd like to keep Castro -- even though I really, really like Baez and if they can find a way to keep all 3, I'd be all for it. But that may not be realistic. Going to be an interesting season and offseason.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    "I am looking forward to the end of trade speculation."

    I think that has become, and will continue to be as certain as death and taxes regardless of what happens.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I'd rather deal the outfield talent. McKinney, Vogelbach, and Schwarber should all be headlining players. I'd even part with baby Gleyber Torres at South Bend. If you move Bryant to LF where he should be you won't need a spot for another corner outfielder. Maybe Schwarber is the sacrificial Lamb. I would think the way Vogelbach hits he's easily be a headliner, but I'm not sure of the league perception on him. Maybe you can shed some light on that for me. I know he lost 30 pounds. Not sure if that has improved his defense at all. Whats been the talk about his weight loss and defense this year from the scouts John? I know you're plugged in to a lot of player development types being Minor-league centric.

  • In reply to Johnny Hatelak:

    Organization views Schwarber as a left handed Kris Bryant. He isn't getting traded

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Hoyer said if Schwarber sticks at catcher he has more value than Bryant. I agree Schwarber is not going anywhere soon.

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    In reply to John57:

    I've said a few times: I believe the management team values the combo of power/OBP over defense. And so I expect Schwarber to catch, and Bryant to stay at third.

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    IDK I think they like power, OBP and defense. Maddon said he was into run prevention. If they had to choose between power/OBP vs defense, I don't know what they would do. But I trust they would do a very good job, much better than me. As for what positions Bryant and Schwarber play, I will sit back and let the FO decide. that is what they are paid the big bucks for.

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    In reply to John57:

    Catching is a HUGE part of the team. That's usually the QB of the diamond. We know they value framing. Do't think they'll leave him at catcher if he can't catch. I'd only consider him for a lights out stud TOR youngster, but he'd be the last of the Cubs prospects I'd trade. However with Bryant destined for LF and Soler in RF where does he play IF he can't catch. A prospect like him should bring a bundle back. You gotta give something to get something. can't fall in love with your prospects. Sometimes Hard choices have to be made. No one is un-tradeable in my book. It's all about getting equal or greater value back preferably at a position(s) of need.

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    In reply to John57:

    That's a pretty legit if.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Agree with Schwarber is the left handed Kris Bryant. Schwarber has grounded into ZERO double plays. Talk about situational hitting. Do we see him on the same track as Bryant last year? AA then AAA and called up early next year? Or if Cubs are in contention September...is he a Sept call up.

    Vogelbach is such a good hitter as well. Same 2B+HR as Schwarber along with AVG and OBP. If only we could find a spot for him.

  • This is such an excellent perspective and outstandingly brilliant article. I'd actually pay a subscription price to read this blog for the rest of the season.

  • In reply to SteveBB:

    *****shhhhh***** (hoping to hear c*r*i*c*k*e*t*s) *****shhhhh******

  • Great article, John.

    Let's assume, we keep current IF configuration in place through trade deadline. If the goal is to leverage Baez as a trade centerpiece to acquire a long-term SP piece, how do we rehab his trade value , as much as possible?

    Obviously , the ideal situation for him would be to come up to big-league club playing SS & experiencing some form of success. That obviously isn't happening. No question that future trading partners will want to see him deliver at major-league level before handing over a valuable piece. Where do we get him the ABs? Given the "newness" of current IF alignment, it wouldn't seem to make sense to send Bryant to LF for a few weeks to showcase Baez' defensive skills at 3B, does it?
    I really think some sustained recovery from Baez could go a long way to addressing SP depth/quality issues.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Doubt we trade Baez without a top of the rotation type pitcher in return.

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    In reply to CubfanInUT:

    At this time I doubt you get a TOR youngster back for Baez unless it's a multiple player deal with some MLB ready talent or soon to be ready in return. maybe even a top starting prospect like Edwards to recoup the loss.

  • In reply to Johnny Hatelak:

    i didnt mean alone specifically

  • Hi John, great article. Really enjoying your site. Got a question that I'm sure has been discussed before but don't recall seeing it. Has there ever been any consideration to moving one of Castro/Russell/Baez out to CF? I think Fowler has been just what the doctor ordered so far this year, but don't consider him a long term answer. I haven't given up on Almora yet either, but for the sake of arguement I'm wondering if you think 1 of the 3 could fill that role long term? It would leave LF open for Schwarber if the catcher experiment fails.

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    John...... another excellent article..... What are your thoughts on extending Fowler this summer??

  • In reply to rynofan74:

    No idea what John thinks, but when they say "When Dex goes, we go" you have to think they want to keep him around.

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    In reply to givejonadollar:

    agreed.. i think fowler is prob going to be the best option we have for leadoff and CF in the unforseeable future

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    In reply to rynofan74:

    And maybe 3 years $30-35M does the trick. Our best CF prospects: Szczur, Almora and Hannemann could all use another 2-3 years in the minors (with Szczur probably playing 4th OF next year in place of Denorfia).

  • If Baez forces his way back to the team, would the Cubs think about sending Russell down? He's doing great for his age but some seasoning at AAA wouldn't hurt.

  • In reply to October:

    I expect Russell will continue to improve upon his numbers up to a point, but if his OBP stays below .300 it is possible he gets sent back down at some point.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    I don't think his OBP stays below .300 for long. Since his 4th game (eliminating his first 3 games) his OBP is 0.329 (baseballreference didn't have his Sunday game loaded yet). It is, of course, a small sample size but ANYTHING with him at the major league level is. I really think that his opening 2-13 with 0 BB is hurting his OBP but that is getting more and more buried.

    I think there will be someone on the "shuttle" plan when it is time to pull up Baez. Herrera, Szczur, Schlitter, Lake. We will likely have at least one of these guys on the roster all year.

  • Might be double-posting as earlier post seems to be caught in cyberspace.

    The issue of trying to rehab Baez value is real. To maximize value, you need to see him have MLB success with bat & ideally @ SS, where his value to potential partners is greatest. I can't see them shuffling IF around & sending KB to LF, for short term, just to juice value.

    Thoughts?

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    Another excellent article John. I think trading Castro would create a huge hole in the Cubs psyche. He is literally in the middle of so much the Cubs do from mentoring the younger players to batting in the center of the order. How many 3 times All-Stars are 25 years old? I realize that his trade value is very high, but sometimes, as you know, the best trades are the ones you don't make. This team is learning to win together, and is winning now, that this is the wrong time to change anything. If the Cubs were 6 games under .500 and not going anywhere that might be different. Right now this is an organism that is thriving. Don't kill it now.

  • Another great piece John. I really like Castro and even though he isn't as good as Russell or Baez can "potentially " be, I'm hoping he can be a part of some winning Cubs teams after all the losing he has endured. I still keep thinking trading Russell may be the answer. If you can get a Gray, Harvey or Syndegaard with Russell but can't get what the Cubs feel is true value or a TOR arm for Castro or Baez, maybe that's the route they take. I don't know if that makes any sense and I'm glad I don't have to make that decision. I am confident this front office will make the right move though.

  • I don't know why but Baez upside still scares the crap out of me....

  • Oooooooooch! Bryant foul tip direct hit.

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    In reply to Oneear:

    If I am right about what you are referring to I think it caught some of his thigh, but that is not why no one is complaining that he is taking his time. It wasn't quite direct, but it was pretty doggone close.

  • John, well done. You've articulated a lot of my thoughts about Castro this season, some that were even quite fully formed yet. The emergence of Rizzo last year finally allowed Castro to not be "the guy" on a bad team. The influx of talent this year took even more pressure off. He's been allowed to be a contact guy and while he is being asked to tweak sine thing here and there he's not ever being asked to fill a role he doesn't fit. As a hitter he's extremely important to this lineup and defensively he's adequate which fit now is enough. He is the glue and sometimes that's the hardest thing to quantify. I think if Castro is traded in season the results could be hugely negative to this young team. On the other hand if he gets you a young starter that will help going forward how do you pass up that opportunity? On the other hand what if on July 1 the Cubs find themselves 2 games out if first and leading the Wild Card race? They need a pitcher and Castro gets you a darned good one. The problem is you los some of the actual physical aspects his games brings you plus all the intangibles. I am very, very glad that decision will not be mine.

  • Great article, John. It pretty much puts Castro's intangibles for everyone to see and it tells how keeping the continuity of the team together is just as important as getting a prospect from the Mets. I would just rather wait until FA this off-season to get an arm that to trade our prospects. It isn't a given that everyone up with the Cubs is going to be successful. That NEVER happens and depth is one of the things that makes our farm system valuable. What if Rizzo gets hurt? Vogelbach becomes pretty important then. Reading some of the posts of these armchair GM's who are willing to trade prospects in May are hilarious!

  • In reply to boyd34:

    Yes prospects like Vogelbach are there for depth. He never is going to knock Rizzo off of 1B if Rizzo stays healthy. You keep Vogelbach in case Rizzo gets hurt or the NL adopts the DH. It always surprises me when fans want to trade Dan or throw him in a trade because he is "blocked". Of course he should get traded if Theo gets surplus value in a trade for him but that doesn't seem likely. Many go out of there way to point out his flaws and ignore his strengths.

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    I don't see Kris Bryant making it at 3rd past this year. Have not been as enamored with his defense as others. He has improved though, the arm is great but his footwork and hands need work. Range looks a little limited.

    I'd have no problem with him sliding to left and Baez or Russell taking over 3rd. Overall defense improves dramatically and we get to keep all our guys. Not on the train of trading them for pitching. You can buy good pitching every year.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Reading about Troy Glaus and all of his back issues pretty much is why you may not see Bryant at 3rd past this year.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    It is REALLY GOOD to hear from you, Mr. Marcel Jenkins!

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    when is enough enough with Cogs.... i have heard the babip and the unluckyness but he is now 20-106 and hitting .189..... Cubs have to do something to get better production from the OF

  • In reply to rynofan74:

    Sometimes it takes time for BABIP to normalize. His left-handed bat is keeping him in the line-up for now. If you're watching the games, you're seeing him hit the ball hard consistently. In this short sample size, what more do you want?

    It's not like the Cubs have anyone else ready to take his spot yet. At least not another left-handed hitter.

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    I am curious, what would be the idea lineup to keep our best ceiling players on the field? What would the best available team be?

  • In reply to Daniel Stone:

    Just going off ceiling? I would say:
    CF Fowler
    RF Bryant
    1B Rizzo
    LF Soler
    SS Russell
    C Schwarber
    2B Castro
    3B Baez

    But given how right handed and strike out prone this lineup would be, there may be better combos available, but in terms of pure ceilings this would be the best way to get them all on the team.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Personally... And this is just me... I would still keep Castro at SS and Russell at 2B.

    While I am very very high on Russell, I think he's overrated defensively due to the hype and fans and people around the industry who have some unexplained urgency to get rid of Castro.

    I truly don't see how Russell is a better SS than Castro right now, who clearly has more range and stronger arm... Perhaps in the future, if Russell doesn't outgrow the position, but for now, he's not there yet... IMHO.

    I would also flip flop the 3 time all star Castro, who leads all SS in hits since 2011 with Russell, until Russell also proves he's a better hitter.

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    In reply to Caps:

    Agreed on all counts. Was going to reply the same thing.

  • This may have been asked previously and if so I apologize. Could McKinney be developed as an MLB CF or is he strictly a corner OF?

  • In reply to lblegacy:

    Corner OF. Maybe even limited to LF since his arm is not very good.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Thanks, mjvz. That's what I thought on LF but wasn't sure since the org is making the push on position flexibility.

  • In reply to lblegacy:

    I seem to remember he has played CF some but you don't really want him there on a regular basis. In a pinch he is OK.

  • In reply to John57:

    Thanks much, John.

  • It's always awesome for me whenever I see someone writing an article about how good Starlin Castro really is and how much he means to this club.
    It seems like, (even tho some more trade rumors popped up recently), that the baseball world is starting to acknowledge just how great Castro is all around and what he's had to go through.

    You don't see it too much when watching the Cubs on TV, I've been fortunate to go to several games so far this year, and believe me Starlin Castro has truly been a different player. Not that he wasn't capable before this season, but the prior seasons it wasn't a winning team, the roster was constantly changing so on and so forth.
    This year tho, with all the great things going on, his role that he's taken on really shines. Every pitch, every play, he has put everyone else before himself. He's always talking, cheering on, throughout every game he's been running to the mound to help out the pitcher in tough spots, he's kind of become an infield coach at 25. I've watched him all season long teaching all throughout the games to Russell and KB.
    The great part about Starlin Castro is this year's lineup, he's the one guy that really stands apart from the rest that no matter what for the most part, you can trust that he's gonna put the ball in play. Maddon has done great with it, we've seen a lot of steals when Castro is up and a lot of hit and runs as well.
    So all though Castro might swing at a lot of out the zone pitches, he always finds away to make contact. Len & JD said an amazing stat of his, I forget exactly what it was, but it was something like with 3-2 or 2 strikes, he's pretty much managed to always put the ball in play, he only has like 4 walks hah, but most of the time he puts the bat on the ball which creates more opportunities for some luck.

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    In reply to WJL3:

    What do you make of Castro's terrible offensive numbers this year? Which join his poor defensive stats.

    Almost no one else hits as many GB. Only six other players hit as many pop ups. His soft contact rate is very high. His OBP is a meager .301. The list goes on for the paltry offensive lows he's experiencing.

  • 1st, we need to stop being Cheap & bringing up Schlitter, just because he has been on 25 man roster & owed league min., HE SUX!! Now, coghlan in Left has to STOP!! He was a 1-hit wonder, he refuses to go oppo & has become the new Darwin Barney.. Time to get serious.. We see that Bryant is not a 3rd baseman in MLB, He needs to be in LF and simply slide Castro to 3rd and Addi to SS.. Russell has 10x the range & regardless of Castro's decent play at SS, he is much more like Manny Machado, great hitter, without any Defensive range, although without Russell, we are not worrying about the 3time AllStar but Now with Russell, its got to change.. Javy Baez can be at 2nd and Grow with these kids as well.. He would prosper with the patience as it's taken full affect on everyone but Soler & Coghlan.. But Coghlan needs to Go.. Bring up Silva or Andreoli or Lake.. Bryant needs to be in LF, he has yet to drop the 1 or 2 tap which should have been fixed in High School, this is a terrible Habit, I know cause it was a problem for myself in College.. As for the Bullpen.. Why are we wasting a roster spot on EJax,(also,Herrera) but it's time to make a trade for Arms and I can see a trade giving up zcoghlan & Ejax to some cellar dwellers and get an impact Arm and slide TWood into long relief or Wada.. Don Roach has shown he is a grounder machine in Iowa, this would be my 1st call to the pen in the 6th or 7th with runners on & needing a Dbl play.. Also, why is Schlitter still here & Coke the Joke.. We have Russel,Wood & Wada to be used for all lefty situations, if Team Thoyer would quit trying to pad the Ricketts pockets and reslize that this Team is The Real Mccoy but only so many blown leads after putting up more than 5 runs can ultimately make the kids press and could keep us outta the playoffs by say 3-4 games at seasons end.. Then I can pinpoint those games.. Versus Brewers at home, the 2 losses and @ Milwaukee last week.. If a move isn't made soon and they keep running up Schlitter or Parker, we will not be playing past 162... Now, annie up and get some Freakin Arms as well as Coghlan traded or designated for assignment !!!

  • In reply to Kabukiman7:

    CubsTalk with a new screen name.

  • IMO, I don't think they'll move Castro until Gleyber Torres is ready to be the full-time SS, which may not be until 2017 at the earliest.

    I see Castro at SS-Russell at 3B-Baez at 2B, or Castro at SS-Bryant at 3B-Russell at 2B as the Cubs infield for the next two playoff runs.

    I believe Castro will have played in the playoffs with the Cubs in 2015 and 2016 before it makes sense to move him during the 2016-2017 offseason. By then a national audience will have had ample opportunity to decide that what they had been led to believe about him was B.S.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    Well said, though I think Gleyber Torres ends up at 2B... And like you said, maybe after 2016, it might make sense to move the affordable all star SS and maybe Russell, if he hasn't outgrown the position, can move back to SS.

    I don't see how moving an affordable all star SS makes sense just for the sake of getting rid of him... As much heat as Castro takes, SS has not been a problem for the Cubs since 2010.

  • Out of all the SS's that the Cubs have.. I think Torres is on top of the list the front office is currently shopping.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    I tend to agree but it will take the right buyer. This kid is 18, he won't hit the major leagues until at least late 2017 probably later. So you're talking about trading him to a team in or starting a rebuild. How many of those teams have pitching?

  • In reply to TC154:

    Athletics are the only real fit imo - not saying a trade matches up though

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Phillies, they need to start stocking their farm system.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Torres and Null for Hamels?

  • In reply to Oneear:

    I think it would take a lot more than that. Both of those guys are in Low-A. Neither of those two are close to being sure things, though Torres has a bright future. Plus, Null isn't THAT good. The Phillies will want some prospects they're getting to be as close to sure things as they can get. Unless their GM backs down, my guess is they're going to want a couple top 50 prospects and then a couple of other high ceiling lower level prospects on top of that.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Yeah, Amaro wouldn't do it now, but maybe come 6/30 depending on Hamels' record.

  • I think if you were to take on Papelbon and Hamels salaries. I think you could get those 2 for; Torres,Almora,Vogelbach,Null,Castillo, Wada and a top minor league pitcher. You also have Olt and Baez that could be part of a deal. They are getting a catcher,shortstop, centerfielder, firstbase, thirdbase a couple of starters and a reliever.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Theo wouldn't give up all that and take on all that salary, but Amaro would ask for it.

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