Starlin Castro is 1-for-17 on the homestand.
It’s not a frightening stretch by slump standards, but still very unusual for Castro.
Since making his MLB debut in 2010, Castro’s 423 hits are the most in the National League, including his NL leading 207 hits last season.
Castro also has the most multi-hit games (82) in the NL since the beginning of 2011, including (25) multi-hit efforts this season.
So it’s strange to see a guys who just hits, and then hits some more, struggle offensively.
But since the start of June Castro is hitting a paltry .203/.230/.339. He’s driven in but 2 runs and has 16 strikeouts vs. one walk. What gives?
Might the slump have something to do with Castro’s transition from batting third to second in the lineup? Perhaps, but his numbers don’t suggest it.
Maybe Castro’s struggles stem from the Cubs warning shot to former hitting instructor Rudy Jaramillo three weeks ago–about the time Sveum moved Castro up in the order?
Did Jaramillo, in his efforts to appease the front office, disrupt Castro by suggesting Starlin adopt a more patient hitting style?
Or can we reason the slump is attributed to Bob Nightengale’s May 31 report in USA Today that claims the Cubs had placed Castro on the team’s trading block?
“Shortstop Starlin Castro already is a star at 22 but can be obtained for two impact prospects.”
It certainly wouldn’t be the first time a player slumped under the pressure of trade rumors, and especially a young 22-year-old whose focus was called into question days later on a botched play in San Francisco.
It could very well be a combination of each scenario, or dare I say, nothing at all that’s effecting Castro’s play.
Sometimes players slump, even the stars, like Starlin Castro.