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Starlin Castro is one of the most aggravating players in recent Cub history.
Consider this exchange I had with Cub Factor impresario Marty Gangler over the weekend:
Marty: He's fearless in bigger situations at the plate it seems. And I don't know if it's bad to have a guy in the lineup that can get hits on horrible pitches. If he's your 7th batter maybe he's fine. Idk. His d is just below average too. If you have Schwarber and the left field masher to be named later in the lineup maybe you count on nothing from Castro and you are ok. He's 25 and already has 916 hits. Bryant is 23 and has 62 hits.
Steve: His WAR is -.5 this season . . .
Castro on offense: WAR is -.5
On defense, fielding percentage: 23rd of 27 in MLB
Errors: Tied for 3rd most among MLB SS's
Nighclub shootings: +2
Off-field lawsuits: 2
Bob Brenly tirades: 2
Marty: So hard to defend him. I'm not on board really at all, but those hits are impressive. He's been an over 3 WAR player in the past, I don't think it's a stretch to think he could be that good again. And if they traded him tomorrow I'd have absolutely no issue at all. And would think they'd be better off.
He makes enough money for this not to be an issue either, but how many idiot managers has he had and how many losing teams has he been on? And losing on purpose. Idk. He's an odd player.
I don't see him being moved this season. The need to let the Maddon wash over him for a while and see if that can make him taste better. Like he's a turkey or something.
Steve: Two days ago!
From: Marty Gangler
Date: June 19, 2015 at 7:24:52 PM CDT
To: Steve Rhodes
Castro. So bad.
Sent from my iPhone
Marty: I'm a conflicted man.
I used to be a pretty big Castro defender. For a long time I thought he should have batted leadoff, despite not being a grind-it-out, OBP kind of hitter. But he's such a bonehead, and he has a low baseball IQ. He'll win you some games, but I bet he loses you a big game in the playoffs by not paying attention, too.
But the Cubs also are not as deep in the infield as conventional wisdom seems to think they are. If you trade Castro, Addison Russell moves over to shortstop - and he is the organization's best at that position. But he's not hitting yet. And who plays second? Javy Baez? Yuk. Plus, it's not at all clear that Kris Bryant will stay at third - he has the worst fielding percentage in the NL (and the most errors) of all players at his position. So as much as I hate to say it, the Cubs should probably stay put with Castro for now. But can they put him on Ritalin or something?
Marty celebrated Father's Day a little too hard - he has two kids - and as his e-mails become increasingly indecipherable on Sunday, we decided I would pinch-hit for him this week.
The Week In Review: The Cubs lost two of three to the Indians, with another game postponed, and took two of three from the Twins. Marty went 2-0 with his kids, even though one of them is named after former White Sock Gavin Floyd.
The Week In Preview: The Dodgers come in for four, and then the Cubs travel to St. Louis for three. Encrypt that game plan, Theo.
Left Field Report: Chris Coghlan started all six games this week in left, going an acceptable 6-for-21 to push his season average to a very Coghlanesque .252, with an equally Coghlanesque .332 OBP. Chris Coghlan is like your friend who is just okay; every once in awhile he'll say something funny, but mostly he just blends into the group. He doesn't really annoy, but he probably won't be around a couple years from now.
Mad(don) Scientist: Joe "Ricky" Maddon refused to publicly dog Castro for his big boner because he is a Renterian. We here at The Cub Factor prefer Sveumism, at least on this issue, which is a philosophy derived from Coxism. Marty's last e-mail of the weekend: "Yeah. Hammerd. Maddon shoulda pulled castor bobby cox style."
Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of Castro had a bumpy ride; we advise taking a pass and shorting David Ross.
Kubs Kalender: Thursday is $2 Paddington Blu-ray Coupon day for the first 10,000 fans at Wrigley, which I'd like to call the lamest promotion ever but this is the Cubs so I'd need to do some research before going out on that limb.
East Coast Cubs: Mike Olt just started his rehab stint so he should be in Japan by September
Over/Under: The number of Starlin Specials left this season: +/- 2.5.
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that the Cubs don't really have any outfielders.
* Touch 'em all: The Cub Factor archives.
* Know thy enemy: The White Sox Reports.
Marty Gangler is (usually) our man on the Cub. He welcomes your comments.