CHICAGO (WSCR) Second-year shortstop Starlin Castro got off to a great start to the 2011 season. He’s been better than anyone could have expected. But as Castro exceeded expectations, the Cubs moved him into the three-hole in the lineup.
But there are some who feel as if Castro belongs at the top of the order.
“I firmly believe, after seeing what he’s done in the leadoff spot, why not leave him up there and just let him do his thing,” former Cub and current analyst Todd Hollandsworth said on the Danny Mac Show.
In 59 plate appearances at the top of the Cubs’ lineup this season, Castro is hitting .424 with eight runs batted in, a home run and a 1.036 OPS. In his 72 other plate appearances his batting average drops to .222.
Hollandsworth admits that while he doesn’t face the same decisions that manager Mike Quade does on a daily basis, the long-term benefits need to be kept in mind.
LISTEN: Todd Hollandsworth On The Danny Mac Show
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“For me, I see the value in this young man, and the potential of this young man, on the cover of Sports Illustrated, it’s very very clear that he has an incredibly bright future, especially here in Chicago, I just don’t want to see what we’ve seen with some other young kids around here where they’re kind of floating all over the place,” Hollandsworth said. “You look what’s going on with Tyler Colvin right now, very similar situations, and he’s struggling with it right now. So I think you stick [Castro] in the leadoff spot, I think you leave him alone.”
Putting Castro in the three-hole, or moving him around the lineup might become a detriment for the young shortstop.
“You still have to protect Starlin,” Hollandsworth said. “He’s a young kid even though he might be the best player on your roster. He’s still a very very young man, he’s still very impressionable and he’s still taking the weight of the world on his shoulders, he’s a National League shortstop. You have to do your best to alleviate as much as you can from him so that he can just go out there, perform and not have to worry about all this other stuff.”