The Chicago Cubs finished in last place of the NL Central last season and after a quiet offseason, things don’t seem like they will change anytime soon for the Cubbies.
The team hasn’t added any remarkable players – although the bullpen has improved vastly with the likes of Jose Veras and Wesley Wright – so the improvement on offense will have to come from within the organization. Players like Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo took a step back in 2013 and they will need to turn their fortunes around if the Cubs want to have a chance to be slightly competitive.
There is one player that needs to turn things around, though, and that is Starlin Castro.
The 23-year-old shortstop regressed mightily last season after tweaking his approach – a move that forced him to be more selective, something he’s clearly not keen to do – and that resulted in historically bad numbers. Castro went from being a .300 career hitter to one that batted .245 and suffered more Ks (129) in a year where things didn’t go his way.
The future will be bright for the Cubs if Castro can build from his bad season and get back into the All-Star player he was until 2012. He has always been a talented hitter and the only thing he needs to do is to remember what made him a successful player. It remains to be seen if new manager Rick Renteria – with hitting coach Bill Mueller – can help him recover his confidence, but if he does, the Cubs will already be a better team than they were last year.
It’s not like the bar is set too high either, but the Cubs need Castro to bounce back. He’s still viewed as a cornerstone of the team and the sooner he can bounce back, the better it will be for the future of the franchise.