Friday, April 30, 2010

Can We Just Leave Starlin Castro Alone?

Over at the Chicago Sun-Times, Gordon Wittenmyer jumps on everyone's favorite meme right now. Starlin Castro can save the Cubs:

"There's no doubt he'll be here sometime this year," Hendry says, "but it won't be anytime in the next couple of days."

Whether that means he's leaving the door open for next week's series in Pittsburgh, maybe he should.


With so much trouble hitting anybody who doesn't pitch for Milwaukee, and the team sputtering three games under .500 at the end of the first month as a result, why not take a look at Castro in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati next week -- against the two worst pitching staffs in the National League and away from the media fishbowl of Wrigley Field?

It doesn't have to be considered long-term at this point. Just enough to give him a taste, just enough to give the Cubs a look, just enough to shake things up a little.

Do it for two weeks or so and give Xavier Nady (.194) some DL time to focus solely on a surgically repaired elbow he can't use at game strength for another month anyway. Or make room for him by sending out a pitcher and keeping Castro until Esmailin Caridad's ready to return from the DL.
Yeah, this sounds like a decent idea. It's a reasonable way to break a guy into the majors (against two weaker opponents), but is it a way to improve a team playing under .500 ball this year?

Wittenmyer answers his own question with a big, fat, "No":

Not that a Castro move would reflect a particular need at shortstop. Fourth-year starter Ryan Theriot is hitting .340 (.392 on-base percentage) and had two of the Cubs' six hits even on Thursday. He's also done the job in the field.
Good job, Gordon, You want to help the Cubs offense by fixing a non-need. Sure, Theriot isn't going to be benched, he would move to second and Mike Fontenot would have a seat. Fontenot who is hitting .309 (.350 on-base percentage).

The Cubs don't need Starlin Castro right now as he doesn't solve any problems. Why start the arbitration / free agency clock on him? Why rush him up to the majors?

Here's an idea, Gordon: Let him play in the minors for a while longer and focus your writing on how the Cubs can fix the things that need fixing.

Like Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano.

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