Now that all the excitement from the MLB Draft (and it was exciting until about the third pick, then I got bored) is behind us, it’s time to return to the soul-sucking daily slog that is Chicago Cubs baseball. But remember Kids, one day this team is going to go all the way, and you’ll be able to say you were there during the lean years! Amirite?
If you need a little pick me up from having that to look forward to, Brian Davis is over at Yahoo! wondering if Starlin Castro is really all he’s cracked up to be. Given that he was drafted and reared up during the old regime, I’d say there’s a pretty good chance he’s not.
I know, I know, worrying about Starlin Castroat this point is the equivalent of parachuting out of a plane because of a little bit of turbulence. It’s too early, it’s too quick, and it’s an overreaction. But what if Starlin Castro isn’t the future superstar we all thought he was?
(queue creepy organ music)
A Game of Numbers
It’s a terrible thought for a team in the heart of rebuilding that one of their core pieces might not be as advertised. Castro’s lacking performance thus far in 2013 is disconcerting. The man who has been lauded as someone who can hit .300 every year is batting .243 (a miserable .208 against left-handed pitching). We’re only 60 games in, but if we look a little deeper the concerns don’t lessen, they grow.
Cubs fans have become resigned to the fact that Castro doesn’t walk much since he has such an amazing ability to make contact (which he does). The problem is that when he doesn’t hit, you end up with things like an on-base percentage of .283 –which is what he is currently sporting here in 2013. He’s also so good at making contact that he often makes contact with terrible pitches that are almost impossible to hit with any kind of authority.
Castro hit .277 in April, .252 in May, and .042 so far in June. In 2012, he followed a similar pattern: .333 in April, .304 in May, and .264 in June. The only anomaly in his pattern is his average recovering in September (.311), but that can possibly be explained by the expansion of the rosters and consequently hitting against lesser pitchers. It also could be because the Cubs were long out of the playoff running and care-free baseball was the name of the game. Either way, Castro has shown a history of struggling down the stretch, not improving.
The silver lining to all this? Maybe we don’t have to worry about Castro and Baez battling it out over SS!