Castro Learns from All-Star Positives & Negatives – Wrigley Field 7/13/11

Posted on 13 July 2011 by Lou

It was an interesting 1st All-Star Game for Starlin Castro.  Caastro entered the game as a pinch runner for Troy Tulowitzki in the 5th runner.  Castro promptly stole 2nd and 3rd base to get into scoring position with less than 2 outs – a great feat for a “green” 21-year old.  But then Castro tried to score on a weak groundball hit slowly towards the pitcher’s mound and he was gunned out at the plate. And as we discussed yesterday, Castro’s one knock has been his propensity to commit errors in the field.  So we weren’t at all surprised when he cleanly fielded Carlos Quentin’s 1-out grounder in the 9th inning, but then threw the ball in the dirt allowing the A.L. to get a mini-rally going.  The A.L. never plated a run in the inning to close the 5-1 lead, but it could have turned into a disaster for Castro if his gaffe allowed the A.L. to get the win.  And so it goes for the young Castro.  He became only the 5th player to have 2 stolen bases in the same all-star game, putting his name in the company with legends like Willie Mays and Kenny Lofton.

Castro has been the Cubs best and most consistent since he came up to the big league club last May.  He has also shown some brilliant fielding prowess.  But he still makes that annoying error on routine plays and he still makes mental mistakes.  But he has clearly emerged as the Cubs best player and hopefully the Cubs will be able to surround him with a better core over the next few seasons as big contracts come off of the books at the end of the 2011 campaign.  Castro has also learned a lot from his short time in the big leagues, especially when Manager Mike Quade sat Castro for a few games last September when the superstar forget how many outs there were in the inning and didn’t run hard enough down the 1st base line as he grounded out into an inning-ending double play.  Despite that play, Castro has earned the honor and respect of Quade today — “Every experience is exactly what you make of it.  I watched him the entire time we were here, watched him interact with the greatest players on the planet, and I thought he handled himself really well.  It’s one thing to have the kind of talent he does, but when you go about your business the way he’s going about it, there’s a chance he’s really going to be something special.”

Gotta love it – now let’s hope he continues to improve on the field and that the Cubs make some smart decisions this off-season so that Castro has some help behind him…

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