Starlin Castro’s season-long struggles continued on Saturday afternoon. After another mental gaffe in the field that allowed Jon Jay to tag up from third and score on a shallow pop fly in left field, Dale Sveum pulled him from the game.
Starlin Castro took responsibility for his actions and did not make any excuses after the game. Castro reportedly apologized to his teammates and the coaching staff.
Dale Sveum said that Castro’s blunder was so egregious that he had to take him out of the game, the first time in his short managerial career that Sveum had to pull a player during a game. Sveum said that Castro has been in the big leagues long enough to not make those types of mistakes. Sveum pointed out that he’s had discussions with Castro but at some point the player has to take responsibility, cross the bridge and take his game to the next level.
Sveum would not commit one way or the other when asked if Castro would be in the starting lineup on Sunday.
Starlin Castro’s defense has been better of late but after a good stretch in July in which he hit .292/.339/.442 with six doubles, one triple and three home runs, Castro has managed only 11 hits in his last 51 at bats. In the 14 games leading up to Saturday, Castro was hitting .216/.231/.255 with two doubles.
Starlin Castro has proven he can play and perform well in the big leagues. Some feel that by the Cubs rushing him to the up to the majors in 2010, it hurt his development and Castro was not able to learn the basics of the game. The reset of the off-season is likely the best thing that could happen to Starlin Castro at this point of his career.
While Starlin Castro created more negative press for himself during Saturday’s game, Javier Baez was all of the talk prior to the game after his performance on Friday night.
Baez created more buzz with his walk-off, two-run homer and Dale Sveum was asked if Baez could break camp next spring on the big league roster.
Sveum said, “You don’t count any of that out because we’ve seen it happen before, obviously. When you have that kind of numbers and power, sometimes you do force the issue. It’s not in the plans right now, but we’ve all seen it happen.”
As Bruce Miles correctly pointed out, Baez will start the season in the minors next year and delay starting his clock. Miles reported that if Baez performs well, he could force the Cubs hand and they might not have a choice but to add him to the big league roster.
Javier Baez went 1-for-3 with a double, a run scored, a walk and two strikeouts in Saturday’s loss to the Lookouts.
News and Notes
Brian Bogusevic left Mesa on Saturday and is expected to report to the I-Cubs on Sunday to continue his rehab. Bogusevic should rejoin the Cubs as soon as the rosters expand on September 1. Bogusevic has been out for the last month with a left hamstring strain.
Scott Baker was expected to begin his second rehab stint with the Daytona Cubs last Wednesday but it was pushed back. Baker is scheduled to start for Daytona on Sunday. With the minor league regular season winding down, it will be interesting to see if the Cubs activate him in September just to get him back on a big league mound. The Cubs and Baker have said that both sides would like him to re-sign with the Cubs in the off-season.
In other rehab news, Arodys Vizcaino is reporting to Mesa on Wednesday to continue his rehab. The Cubs are trying to get him ready to pitch in the Arizona Fall League.