How much will be read into Russell’s 1st start at SS?
For some reason, I’m tempted to believe that this will be more than simply “a day off” situation for theChicago Cubs
. In a season of renewed hope, fans have come to expect more from pretty much everyone, even the guy who was the fastest Cubs player to 900 hits. When you’re Starlin Castro, it’s tough to win in Chicago. So with just a simple Twitter post from @MLBLineups, the Cubs’ forums will be set ablaze I’m sure.
No Castro? Addison Russell the start at short? They’re making a change! Maybe they have a trade worked out…or is he moving to third? Stop. Stop all of these before they spill out into the interwebs for everyone to grab a piece of and run with. This is simply a day off for a player that needs to get his head straight. Personally I think it should have come sooner, but Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon likes to give his players the opportunity to play their way out of slumps.
Over his last 15 games, Castro is hitting just .250 (15-for-60) with just one home run and three RBIs, and much of that time spent in the clean-up spot. Maddon isn’t your “by the book” type of guy, by Castro needed a different slot in the order a while ago. When your pitcher is hitting ninth, your clean-up hitter isn’t really that after the first time through and so on. But it’s been his defense that Maddon may be more concerned about.
In that same 15 game stretch, Castro has committed five errors and has a fielding percentage of .931. He’s made some sparkling plays in the field this season, but it’s still the routine ones that seem to get him. And this season, more than recent memory, errors have come back to bite the Cubs in games.
So in steps Russell, who in the eyes of most is the best shortstop in the organization. With Javier Baez a close second. We could overlook Castro’s poor defense it seems when he was collecting near 200 hits a season, suddenly fans aren’t so forgiving. But as good as Russell is defensively, and his potential added to that, he’s yet to prove his “everyday worth”. Doesn’t mean he won’t, but he hasn’t yet. Baez didn’t either.
You may be one of those fans calling for Castro to be moved, benched or traded. But the truth is, he’s still the best overall option for the time being. Until he’s unseated, it’s Castro’s spot for better or worse.