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Starlin Castro pulled after his mental error allows a run to score

Aug 17, 2013, 6:45 PM EST

Starlin Castro AP

Cubs manager Dale Sveum decided to remove shortstop Starlin Castro from the game after he forgot the number of outs in the top of the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Matt Carpenter hit a lazy fly ball to shallow left field where Castro ran it down. As he casually slowed down, Jon Jay on third base noticed his lackadaisical nature and raced home. Castro’s throw home was too late as the Cardinals went up 2-0.

Before the top of the sixth, Sveum told Castro to hit the showers. Donnie Murphy moved from third base to shortstop and Cody Ransom entered the game playing third base. The Cardinals would tack on two more runs that inning on a two-run home run by catcher Yadier Molina, upping their lead to 4-0.

It’s been a tough year for Castro. Playing for one of the National League’s worst teams, he is having his worst season by a mile. His adjusted OPS of 71 is well under his previous career-low of 100 (also the league average) set in his rookie season in 2010. According to Baseball Reference, going by WAR, Castro has been the third-least valuable position player for the Cubs with -0.5 WAR, ahead of only Brent Lillibridge (-0.6) and Scott Hairston (-0.6).

  1. brewcrewfan54 - Aug 17, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    I hate the Cubs but this guy has all the ability in the world and continues to do this stupid kind of crap. He’s been benched for it also. He’s an idiot who apparently doesn’t learn.

    • dondada10 - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:03 PM

      If ever there was a player to go year to year with in arbitration, it was this guy.

    • f1lthymcnasty1 - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      At least he’s not cheating like someone you know.

      • dondada10 - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:13 PM

        You talking about Vinny in my neighborhood who does steroids but doesn’t train his legs? Pencil Legs Vinny?

      • brewcrewfan54 - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        Great Braun joke.

  2. jerze2387 - Aug 17, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    one of the most overrated players in all of baseball.

    • wretchu - Aug 18, 2013 at 8:36 AM

      Nah, actually Anthony Rizzo has been their top player pretty much since he came up about halfway through last season – or at least their most bankable one. Which is sad considering he’s only hitting .232 this year.

  3. historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    He should’ve pulled him before. There was an earlier play that he took his time on. Castro was watching the runner instead of the ball and didn’t go after it. He didn’t much look like he wanted to play today.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 19, 2013 at 9:14 AM

      Good call. I saw the same play.
      The kid can be very frustrating. World beater to little leaguer at the drop of a hat. Cubs fans have to be pulling their hair out.

  4. boyofzimmer - Aug 17, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    He’s 0-16 at the plate this week! Should have traded him before his stock plummeted. Like watching Carlos Marmol all over again!

    • jerze2387 - Aug 17, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      yeah…seems like a long time ago when they could have gotten a bounty for this guy. doubt theyd even get close to that now. And i dont think it has all that much to do with being on a losing team either…the kid has all the skills but just doesnt have “it” in him to be able to use it. and at this point, i highly doubt itll just click. hes gonna be the Jeff Franceour of shortstops (only without the whole being a really nice, likeable guy thing)

    • flamethrower101 - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:30 PM

      Anybody in that organization that thinks they can get anything more than a Class-A player for him at this point deserves to be laughed at over the phone.

    • bigmeechy74 - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      Haha wow man you’re right! It really is the SS version of Marmol. I wasn’t sure about the extension in the first place but now I realize it is a sunk cost. They need to get rid of this guy somehow. Trade him for pennies on the dollar. I just think there is something about Chicago where people think it’s ok to just go in the tank. It isn’t a coincidence that Soriano is playing like Babe Ruth the second he arrives in New York.

  5. jc4455 - Aug 17, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    He wasn’t confused about the number of outs – the umpire was standing right next to him and called the infield fly rule as he caught the ball. Either he didn’t think runners could advance once the infield fly rule was called, or he didn’t think Jay would go on that shallow a hit.

    • wretchu - Aug 18, 2013 at 8:39 AM

      I agree with your assessment. Still definitely a mental lapse, but it’s not like he was trying to trot off the field or anything. He just relaxed when he should’ve been focusing on keeping the runners where they were. All he had to do was just LOOK like he was going to throw home and Jay probably would’ve held up, but he couldn’t even be bothered to do that. You could see watching the replays that Jay had started, but he was looking back to see what Castro would do before taking off full bore towards home.

  6. cubfan531 - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    The problem seems to be that the Cubs have tried to implement the “Cubs Way” into Castro a little too hard and too late. Guy was a .300 hitter, and they wanted him to be more patient. While progress isn’t linear, I question if this isn’t just growing pains and a flat-out regression. It takes a lot to get a guy’s confidence back. Sure, his pitches seen per at-bat is higher, but the results have taken a massive downturn. The .330 OBP was a lot better with his old approach than the .270 OBP he’s got this year.

    Of course, this could all turn around and he’ll be the MVP candidate people think he can be. For now, though, I’m just glad we have Javier Baez at AA.

    • cubfan531 - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:08 AM

      He was hitting bad pitches before. Kinda had the Vlad Guerrero thing going on. Sure, the ball is at your ankles, but if you can hit it there, go for it.

      I’m hoping he has the same sort of turnaround Baez has from about the middle of last year into this year. Step one is taking pitches, step two is truly being selective.

      As for the bad habit from Sori, I have my doubts there. The kid’s never struggled at any level until now. It doesn’t take 2 1/2 years to get a scouting report on someone. He doesn’t yet understand truly being selective, driving your pitch, all that. I’m hoping it’s one step back and two steps forward.

      Driving the same car as Sori, though, that I can understand. I know Sori was very good about mentoring the young Dominican kids as they came up. Hard as the Hendry regime tried to throw him under the bus, Sori was a very positive force for the Cubs during his tenure here. Probably would have succeeded in CF when he came here had he had a coach like Dave McKay who showed him how to improve in the OF, not just tell him to go work on it without any instruction.

  7. kevinbnyc - Aug 18, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Seems like he could use some adderol.

  8. edwardcollinss - Aug 18, 2013 at 5:53 AM

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  9. gmsingh - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    I think Theo Epstein said Castro will be better in five years when the Cubbies win the Series.

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