Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was benched mid-game, after he apparently lost track of the number of outs in the inning, resulting in a St. Louis Cardinals run in the top of the fifth inning.
Matt Carpenter popped up a pitch from Travis Wood to shallow left field, and after Castro ranged out to his right and made the catch, after the third base umpire signaled the infield fly rule, he continued jogging, seemingly thinking he caught the pop-up for the third out of the inning. Only problem with this? It was the second out of the inning.
After the third out was recorded, Castro descended the dugout steps, and Cubs’ skipper Dale Sveum was seen shaking his head as he told the young shortstop something. Soon after, Cody Ransom came off the bench, filling Castro’s spot in the lineup card.
This continues what has become a trend for Starlin Castro in 2013; seemingly lackadaisical play and a lack of mental focus while on the field. On several instances, he has lost track of outs in innings, dropped pop-ups and has also struggled at the plate this season.
The Dominican Republic native is under team control through the 2020 season, after signing a major contract extension last year for over $60 million. Castro hit .283 last year with a .323 on-base percentage for the Cubs. He finished with 183 hits, playing in all 162 games just one year after racking up 207 hits in 158 contests.
The two-time National League All-Star will no doubt be part of the focus of Sveum’s postgame news conference, after the Cubs and Cardinals complete this afternoon’s game at the Friendly Confines. We’ll keep you updated on those remarks, as well as today’s game at Cubbies Crib.