Chicago Cubs: Five potential heroes in the NL Wild Card game

3 of 7

Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Starlin Castro

I’ve been a staunch supporter of Castro. On here to a very dangerous defense of him within Cubs social groups. There came a point when I very well though I would be eating crow the rest of the year when Maddon made the decision not only to move him from shortstop but bench him altogether. Maddon will be the first to admit that it wasn’t to light a fire under Castro. It’s because he wasn’t helping the team win.

Well, maybe Maddon is just that good.

The fire was indeed lit, intentional or not. It wasn’t an immediate turnaround. Castro had to adjust to his new position at second base while trying to figure out what went wrong at the plate. But as the Cubs made their final push in the month of September, there may not have been a more valuable guy than Castro. He batted .426 for the month with five home runs, five doubles, and 20 runs knocked in with an OPS of 1.202. No more weak rollers. Castro was tuned in and letting it go. Maddon’s assessment? “If he carries this for the rest of his career, I’m telling you it’s going to be a good one.”

So for a career that once appeared over–at least as a Cubs–he enters the playoffs as one of the hottest hitters for one of the hottest teams. Castro has endured his career on nothing but losing teams. Don’t for one second believe he isn’t embracing the opportunity to show that he was more than the best player on a bad team.

Next: Mr. Anything and everything