Over the last few games, the Chicago Cubs‘ offense has been producing runs at a promising clip. One of the leaders in this outburst of runs scored has been the rejuvenated play of one Starlin Castro. After an injury early on in Spring Training sidelined the shortstop for most of camp, Castro is now starting to get his swings in, and making them count. The production Castro is having may also be impacted by where he is finding himself in the lineup the past few games.
The first two games of the season saw Castro hit in the no. 3 spot in the Cubs’ order. In those games, Castro went 0-9 at the plate. Since then, Castro has seen time hitting second in the lineup, and also further down in the six hole. It is there where Castro has seen his bat come alive the past few games to the tune of his batting average rising to a .342 clip.
Previously, I had mentioned that Castro is best suited for either hitting second or sixth for the Cubs. I thought that until reinforcements were called upon, Castro would not see much time hitting sixth. But after the past few games, Castro appears to have found his spot within the order and should stay there permanently. His production is best served at that spot after the groove he has found himself in during this home stand.
In four games hitting second, Castro has gone 6-17 with an RBI in front of Anthony Rizzo. In three games hitting sixth, Castro has had a spurt going 7-12 with two home runs and six RBIs. Manager Rick Renteria should leave Castro hitting down in the order and sculpt the rest of the lineup around him.
The second and sixth spots in the Cubs’ lineup also seems to be contagious this week for other players as well. The no. 2 spot saw Ryan Kalish have a break out game this past Sunday going 2-3 with three RBIs. Those were his first hits and RBIs of the season. The six spot also saw Junior Lake launch his first home run of 2014 this week also.
In the Cubs’ first five games, the offense scored a combined eight runs. In the last four games since Castro was first dropped, the offense has busted out a combined 25 runs. While bullpen troubles are still preventing some wins going up on the scoreboard for Chicago, the offense is doing its part. Suddenly for Castro and the Cubs, hitting sixth is becoming priority number one for finding offensive production at the plate.
Nick Schaeflein is a Chicago Cubs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.