CHICAGO (WSCR) — When Kosuke Fukudome suffered a hamstring injury, the Chicago Cubs moved shortstop Starlin Castro to leadoff, and the 21-year old took his play to another level.
The decision to move Castro to the top of the order may have happened due to necessity, but it’s worked out better than anyone expected and may have been an inevitable move.
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“Had he continued to perform like this, he would have forced their hand,” Gordon Wittenmyer, of the Chicago Sun-Times, said on the Mully and Hanley Show.
Over the last seven days, Castro has hit for a .481 batting average with two doubles, a home run and five runs batted in.
“I think what’s coming next is he might force their hand on the three-spot,” Wittenmyer said. “There were some hints in spring training that ultimately that could be where this kid goes. And he’s coming so fast and so far that, especially with the production lately out of the three-hole, now you have to start wondering when you pull that trigger. Especially as Kosuke’s hamstring gets stronger and if he continues to hit well enough in the matchup situations that you want him back in the leadoff spot.”
In his young career (only 141 games), Castro has a batting average of .315 with 4 HR, 48 RBI and .786 OPS. So while there may be some question marks about his fielding, one thing is for certain, Castro can flat out hit.