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Cubs Slumps: Castro, LaHair & Campana

By bullpenbrian at 08.07.2012 4 comments.

It’s hard to ignore the offensive struggles of Starlin Castro, Bryan LaHair and Tony Campana.

Despite adopting a more disciplined plate approach since the firing of Rudy Jaramillo, which should help in the long run, Castro hasn’t been the same batter that led the NL in hits last season (207).

That doesn’t mean Starlin won’t break out of his funk before season’s end, but we can expect Castro to put together some better quality at-bats. Not to mention, this kid is so super-talented it’s only a matter of time before he settles back into being the Cubs’ premier hitter in the lineup.

LaHair’s slump, however, is far more concerning. He’s simply been brutal since mid-June, which helps explain why the Cubs didn’t feel they could receive enough value in return to trade him last week.

Surviving the trade deadline should’ve been LaHair’s golden opportunity to be an everyday player for the Cubs in the season’s second half. Instead, Team Theo opted to promote Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters.

The roster move is certain to leave LaHair riding the pine as a role player until he makes the needed adjustments to return to his brilliant hot start to the season, one that earned him All Star honors.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for LaHair is regaining his confidence. It’s vanished over his last 100 at-bats. He looks lost, over-matched and generally defeated at the dish.

Not even Tony Campana can outrun the slump-bug, which is why he was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Sunday to make room for the arrivals of Jackson & Vitters.

Aside from being a cute base stealing threat, Campana expectedly fell back to earth after his hot start in April.

It’s clearly evident Campana is over-matched by big league pitching–and has been all year. He rarely puts together quality at-bats and what little success Campana has had this season has been fleeting at best.

Both he and the Cubs are best served getting the scrappy lefty more playing time in Iowa vs. sitting the bench on a team with zero need for a pinch-runner.

Starlin Castro

  • Since July 6 – Last 99 at-bats
  • .232/.276/.434
  • 23 hits, 3 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 12 RBI – 5 BB, 12 K

Bryan LaHair

  • Since June 18 – Last 100 at-bats
  • .210/.282/.300
  • 21 hits, 2 HR, 3 2B, 5 RBI – 10 BB, 41 K

Tony Campana

  • Since May 14 – Last 98 at-bats
  • .204/.243/.214
  • 20 hits, 1 2B, 2 RBI, – 5 BB, 29 K – 18/19 stolen bases
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4 Comments

  1. I was a big believer in LaHair earlier in the season but his slump has been extensive. To the point where you wonder if he can come close to replicating that early season success again. Bringing up Vitters and Jackson was a good move.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      The callup of Jackson & Vitters shows the Cubs are moving on from LaHair, which they need to do.

      LaHair’s slump though could be a blessing in disguise. LaHair doesn’t necessarily fit into the Cubs long-term plans.

      At least this way the organization gets an earlier look at both prospects that do project as corner pieces of the rebuild.

      But I’m with you, major bummer LaHair hasn’t been able to stay consistent at the plate all season. Everything was looking up the first two months of the season. He just hasn’t been the same since, I guess for a variety of reasons.

  2. Adam says:

    So glad to be rid of Campana. It’s not the 1980s anymore, there’s no reason to keep a pinch-running specialist on the bench!

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Yep. Campana is a nice bonus addition if you’re a contending NL team. But at this stage of his career you know what you’re going to get from him–and that’s not much aside from a few stolen bases.

      It would be different, of course, he if was helping the Cubs win games. With all due respect, however, the only reason Campana lasted this long with the Cubs was a matter of circumstance.

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