Castro Gets the Call

As virtually all of Cub Nation has probably already heard, the Cubs have summoned 20-year-old Starlin Castro to the bigs. He's in tonight's lineup in Cincinnati, hitting eighth. Ryan Theriot is moving over to second. Chad Tracy, meanwhile, has been banished to Iowa, Andrew Cashner has been promoted to Iowa from Tennessee, and Josh Vitters has been moved up to Tennessee from Daytona.

Back to the game tonight. Here's the batting order that will go up against the Reds' Homer Bailey:

Theriot 4, Fukudome 9, Lee 3, Byrd 8, Ramirez 5, Soriano 6, Soto 2, Castro 6, Silva 1.

Sullivan points out in the Tribune that Castro is the youngest Cubs rookie since 19-year-old Oscar Gamble made his debut 41 years ago. Ironically, Gamble also broke in against the Reds, in Cincinnati.

Also found this item in Sullivan's story amusing: Jim Hendry said these moves were not motivated by the Cubs getting swept in Pittsburgh. "I knew two days ago I was going to do this before Cincinnati," the Cubs GM said.

Some thoughts on the move by Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (subscription required):

The Dominican shortstop just turned 20 in March, but after a monster spring and this much offense so far in the Southern League, I think we can have some confidence that he's going to hit immediately. Certainly not .376, but he should hold his own.., as in yesterday's Scouting Notebook, a scout believed he could be a future 70 hitter, which is nearly batting title territory. Beyond the ability to hammer line drives all over the field, Castro has a good, not great approach, but he's not overly aggressive like Corey Patterson was, and it shouldn't be a problem in the big leagues.

Goldstein also cautions that Castro is not "some sort of massive tools monster." He rates Castro's speed as only average and says not to expect much in the way of longball power until Castro's frame fills out.

Comments

Sorry, all, for the Corey Patterson reference. Before I knew it, I had typed the words and well, I'm just really sorry.

Just think at this rate - three more promotions and Soto can bat fourth!

Goldstein also cautions that Castro is not "some sort of massive tools monster."

...yes

castro is an awesome prospect, but really...we shouldnt expect more than a renteria/vizquel type performance out of the guy at his peak.

he's just not built for super-stardom...at least now...probably not ever.

Wth? JUST a Renteria or Vizquel?

You can't hear it but I'm making loud groaning noises, dude.

well, talking about a hot prospect who projects to hit .280 with a .340-ish ob% and deliver 10-15HR power seems to loose it's shine after a season or two.

Not sure how a Vizquel comp makes any more sense than a Garciaparra compariosn.

im just saying the guy is a contact hitting, low walking, 10-15hr power type...

he's mostly tied to a renteria comparison with the bat...which is more apt.

I'm thinking more like Hughie Jennings, for you old, old schoolers. JK. Renteria does seem like the most logical comparison. Nice first ab by the kid.

Take that Tuffy Rhodes!

I expect nothing short of a Hr/Triple & 6 rbis every game for the rest of the year.

We shouldn't expect it right away or anything--and I know that scouts etc. are trying to project based on what Castro has done so far in the minors and his current body--but watching Castro's swing in spring training and looking at the number of extra base hits he's able to collect in the minors, I don't think it's completely unreasonable that he could produce DeRosa+ power. He's not a big guy, but he's so comfortable putting the bat on the ball that he can take some pretty aggressive swings, and he's already using his legs well.

At this point, I am just happy to say that he makes the team better. It is not their most urgent need, but a Theriot/Castro middle infield sure seems like an upgrade over a Fonty/Theriot one.... I just wish that this did something to address the MASSIVE production void coming from their corner IFs, or to add someone reliable to the pen...

the whole thing seems like a massive distraction from the season-as-is to me.

it's the answer to a problem that doesn't exist and the potential upgrade quality seems to be so minor in the immediate future.

we get a new toy to look at on TV, though.

You know Fountainout has got be thinking "what the heck did I do?" and looking over at Aram Ram. Hopefully it will pick up the clubhouse a bit - but Aram and Lee driving in runs will pick them up a lot more.

"looking over at Aram Ram"

He's very dillusional if he's comparing his situation to Aramis.

the very idea of bringing up an "upgrade" that we slot into the 8-hitting slot says a lot about the upgrade, imo.

some believe the D upgrade at SS will be worth counting, too. i'm in the camp that believes that while theriot is pretty damn average, he's not a liability.

Fontenot: Best. Pinch hitter. Ever.?

BRING UP RYNO! Or Brenly down from the booth.

Yea!

Oh, Sandberg... whatev.

Also from Baseball Prospectus, Christina Kahrl uses about 600 words to say that she thinks the call-up makes sense and that she's expecting early, Edgar Renteria-like numbers from the young man--.270 to .280 average, a few homers--plus a nice defensive improvement over Theriot.

Reds lineup v. Silva:

Cabrera SS, Phillips 2B, Votto 1B, Rolen 3B, Bruce RF, Gomes LF, Stubbs CF, Hernandez C, Homer Bailey P

Chad Tracy has 6+033 MLB Service Time through yesterday, so he would have had to agree to accept an Optional Assignment to Iowa. And to get him to agree, the Cubs probably had to guarantee some or all of the $550K in performance incentives in his contract.

Also, Starlin Castro presently gets four minor league options (as long as the 4th one is used prior to his completing five full seasons), in case the Cubs option him back to the minors at some point later this season.

Castro wearing #13

If he sucks and Cubs fans boo him I'm gonna start rooting for the Phillies.

I might go with you too. I hate Cubs fans sometimes

Castro good.

[edit]

Silva not good.

If Castro sticks, what role does Baker have on the team?

Wish A-Ram would get himself together at the plate. Lee, too.

Role on the team.

Guy who's not on it?

back-up 3bmen

The Cincy TV announcers just said that the 6 RBI by Castro in his MLB debut was the greatest performance ever by a rookie in his first game.

One game, one Major League record.

Yeah, and he's already tied with future Hall-of-Famer Randy Johnson on the career HR list!

Other than his Cubbie disaster with The Wide-Out, the below plus the recent Cub Top 10 prospects is not at all the disaster Mike C whines about constantly. And interestingly NAVIGATOR has been silent about "Teflon Tim" recently. Go figure.

"During his 27-year career, Wilken has seen a distinguished list of players signed and ushered into the big leagues, including: Derek Bell, Chris Carpenter, Carlos Delgado, Ryan Freel, Shawn Green, Roy Halladay, Steve Karsay, Billy Koch, Josh Phelps, Alex Rios, Vernon Wells and Michael Young. While with the Blue Jays, he contributed to the club's streak of seeing 11 straight first-round draft picks reach the major leagues.

In addition, during his 11 years after being promoted to national crosschecker of the Blue Jays, Toronto's draft was ranked in the top five each year - producing four Rawling Gold Glove winners and two Cy Young Award winners. In 2005, 16 products of the Blue Jays organization were on the All-Star Ballot and six were selected to the All-Star Team. In addition, in 2003, the Blue Jays were named Baseball America's organization of the year."

Wilken is doing a nice job but I have to chuckle at Operation Shutdown Bell and Cover Boy Phelps on that "distinguished" list.

You'd prefer Ryan Harvey?

Ummmm E-man sorry to bag on you but just because Wilken had a great career some where else doesn't mean the picture is all sunshine and rose petals in the Cubs system.

One thing doesn't have a damn thing to do with another. If the organization isn't going to pay top dollar for the best players in the draft then your still going to get a shitty product. More importantly he is only as good as the people around him and the people in the Cubs system, are how should i put it, F'n horrible at talent evaluation.

McPhail was a great GM in Minnesota, because he had great people working for him. He wasn't so much in Chicago, in fact he was a pretty shitty GM. He continues to be that same shitty GM in Baltimore but with better scouts and talent evaluation. Minnesota keeps on trucking like he never existed and McPhail never did a damn thing to help this franchise win a World Series. He took a couple can't miss prospects that carried us about as far as they could and then it flamed out every time.

All you have done is thrown out Wilken's past accomplishments and concluded our farm system is better and/or fixed because of what he did in the past. In fact you didn't even mention one single accomplishment from Wilken to the Cubs, thats pretty telling.

I-Cubs' listing of upcoming pitching matchups doesn't include Cashner yet [assuming he'll continue to start]...they're home for a brief 4 game set w/ OKC before hitting the road so may have to wait a while before a chance to get a look @ him...meantime, Castro: revolution? revelation? wow...

damn...cashner now slated to throw tuesday in las vegas on first game of road trip!

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  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 37 min 33 sec ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 2 hours 45 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 2 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 3 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 11 hours 37 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 12 hours 7 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 12 hours 29 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 13 hours 2 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 13 hours 11 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 13 hours 22 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 13 hours 31 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 13 hours 38 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 13 hours 46 min ago view
  • make that just peralta...

    crunch 13 hours 46 min ago view
  • a.soriano new OF fielding coach?

    crunch 14 hours 50 min ago view
  • Why is Almora jumping up on catches?

    jacos 14 hours 52 min ago view