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MODEST PROPOSAL
April 04, 2011
Starlin Castro was one of the few bright spots for the Cubs in a miserable 2010 season. At 20, the shortstop hit .300/.347/.408 and held his own defensively, with his range making up for his errors. The Cubs have high hopes for Castro in '11, reflected in Mike Quade's trying him in the number 2 spot of the lineup this spring. While Castro's .300 average and .347 OBP make him seem like a good fit, he may not be ready for that critical a role in the offense. Castro struck out 71 times last year and drew only 29 walks. Seven of those were intentional passes—six while hitting in front of the pitcher. His plate discipline is a concern. Castro also hits a lot of balls on the ground—more than half of his balls in play—and with neither Cubs leadoff option (Kosuke Fukudome and Tyler Colvin) a good bet to steal, there is a high double-play risk that comes with batting Castro second. At least until he matures as a hitter, the Cubs would be better off batting Castro seventh, with Marlon Byrd, Blake DeWitt or even Alfonso Soriano in the two hole.
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April 04, 2011

Modest Proposal

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Starlin Castro was one of the few bright spots for the Cubs in a miserable 2010 season. At 20, the shortstop hit .300/.347/.408 and held his own defensively, with his range making up for his errors. The Cubs have high hopes for Castro in '11, reflected in Mike Quade's trying him in the number 2 spot of the lineup this spring. While Castro's .300 average and .347 OBP make him seem like a good fit, he may not be ready for that critical a role in the offense. Castro struck out 71 times last year and drew only 29 walks. Seven of those were intentional passes—six while hitting in front of the pitcher. His plate discipline is a concern. Castro also hits a lot of balls on the ground—more than half of his balls in play—and with neither Cubs leadoff option (Kosuke Fukudome and Tyler Colvin) a good bet to steal, there is a high double-play risk that comes with batting Castro second. At least until he matures as a hitter, the Cubs would be better off batting Castro seventh, with Marlon Byrd, Blake DeWitt or even Alfonso Soriano in the two hole.

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