It’s no question that the Chicago Cubs had their share of disappointment a season ago. At the center of that disappointment was once-promising shortstop Starlin Castro. After batting just .245 last season, many Cubs fans felt that there was some cause for concern for the product of the Dominican Republic.
Everything is going to be okay though, there’s no need to fear. Perhaps everyone is starting to see that Castro isn’t quite the star they had envisioned early on, but he is also going to be a potential All-Star for years to come.
First of all, anyone saying that the Cubs should trade Castro right now is a lunatic. He’s just 23 years old, he led the league in hits just two years ago, and has had one bad season in his baseball life. Yes, he has been on a downward trend from 2011-13, but that coincides with Dale Sveum‘s tenure as manager.
Sveum is now gone and Spanish-speaking Rick Renteria takes his place at the helm of a team in the middle of a rebuild. Having Renteria mentor Castro should be an instant help, as he does speak Spanish; Cubs management made hiring more Spanish-speaking staff a priority because of the influx of Latin American prospects they have in the minor leagues.
Perhaps with better communication will come better results for Castro in 2014. He can now change his approach back to “see ball, hit ball” and stop thinking so much at the plate. The fact is, Castro is just too good a hitter to have a repeat performance of last season. A year ago was a culmination of bad timing and an infectious losing attitude.
This isn’t to say that Castro’s steady decrease in performance isn’t concerning, it is. However, his play will steady out once he feels more comfortable and matures. Just how much he matures could determine how good he eventually becomes.
There is a learning curve in this game and Castro is starting to fall behind. With 2013 behind him and a lot to look forward to in the years to come, he has a good chance of getting back ahead.