Starlin Castro benched after losing track of outs, costing Cubs run

Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was benched by manager Dale Sveum after costing his team a run by losing track of outs in the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

The Cardinals had the bases loaded with one out when Matt Carpenter popped up a ball to shallow left. Castro tracked down the popup for the second out, but he thought it was the third. He put his head down and began walking off the field, so John Jay alertly tagged up and headed home. Castro realized what was happening, so he fired home but his throw was too late. The run gave the Cards a 2-0 lead.

Sveum was obviously upset with Castro’s mental blunder, so he benched the shortstop. Donnie Murphy moved from third to short for the sixth inning, while Cody Ransom entered the game to play third.

We might have defended the 23-year-old shortstop for his mistake — you know, the sort of thing can happen to anyone — but it’s happened to Castro MULTIPLE times. Castro lost track of the outs last year, and he was benched the year before after ESPN cameras caught him not paying attention to the game.

The Cubs probably hoped that Castro would mature and grow out of this, but we’re still seeing the same thing over and over from him.

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Starlin Castro loses track of outs (Video)

Starlin Castro committed a major mental mistake on Monday that could put his playing time in jeopardy.

The Cubs shortstop forgot how many outs there were in the bottom of the 5th inning of the Giants-Cubs game in San Francisco. Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford was batting with the bases loaded, one out, and his team down 2-1. Crawford hit a grounder to second baseman Darwin Barney, who flipped to Castro for the force out at second. Though the Cubs got the force out, Castro began jogging toward the dugout with his head down like the inning had ended. Unfortunately, that was only the second out, and Castro didn’t even attempt to turn the double play that could have ended the inning.

Pitcher Jeff Samardzija struck out the next batter to end the inning, and then he let Castro hear it in the dugout.

Manager Dale Sveum was also disturbed by the mental gaffe. He said after the game Castro’s playing time was in jeopardy.

“It’s something that’s obviously unacceptable at any time, whether we turned the double play or not,” Sveum said. “It’s not acceptable. Those things have to stop happening or he’s going to stop playing.”

Though Castro is talented — he’s tied for second among all shortstops in baseball with 67 hits — his lack of focus is a repeat concern. You may recall that he was benched for this pathetic display last season. I understand that he’s only 20 years old, but this sort of nonsense has to stop.

Starlin Castro Benched Day After ESPN Shows Him Not Paying Attention

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was benched by manager Mike Quade for Monday’s game after ESPN showed video of the shortstop not paying attention at times during Sunday Night Baseball. ESPN caught Castro with his back to the batter during a pitch and showed the footage during their telecast. Analyst and former manager Bobby Valentine discussed the unacceptable lapse from Castro for several minutes.

Manager Mike Quade was not aware of Castro’s mishaps as of Sunday night, saying he was busy managing the game. That was understandable. After he went over the video, he decided Castro’s behavior was unacceptable and he benched him gave him a “mental day off.”

Here’s a look at the video via Clubhouse Cancer and Awful Announcing to judge for yourself:

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Cubs: A Star(lin) is Born

History was made on Friday night when 20-year-old rookie Starlin Castro made his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs. Castro drove in six runs in five at-bats, the most by any player in their major league debut. But that’s not all — Castro also became the first major leaguer to be born in the 90’s. Don’t we all feel old now?

Castro really got the team going with a three-run home run in his first career at-bat. That had to be a great feeling. It had the skipper, Lou Piniella , feeling pretty great about the new kid:

“The kid — what a debut! He’s got to be ecstatic. He should be.”

Maybe the north siders are finally getting it together. The decision to move Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen has worked and proven me wrong so far. So now with a stronger bullpen and this new “spark” in Starlin Castro added to the team, the Cubs seem like they are headed in the right direction. I’m not saying that they’ll be hoisting a World Series trophy in October, but hey “there’s always next year.”

Castro Overthrows Reds, Makes Spectacular Debut (And Cubs Win, Too) [Bleed Cubbie Blue]
Castro homers, Drives in Six to Carry Cubs Past Reds [ESPN Chicago]