Cubs' Castro to begin season with Triple-A Iowa

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Cubs manager Lou Piniella told the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan on Sunday that shortstop prospect Starlin Castro will kick off the 2010 season with the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Iowa. 

It’s the right move, no matter how you slice it.  Castro needs playing time more than anything right now and the Cubs’ infield, while not especially talented, is awfully crowded.  Castro, who is just 19 years of age, batted .299/.342/.392 with three homers, 49 RBI and 28 stolen bases last season in 469 at-bats between Single-A and Double-A.

“Starlin is going to start the season in Triple-A
and play. Now the only way Starlin would come into this equation, and
I’ve said this before, is if he shows he’s ready to play here and
there’s a problem physically with Theriot.”

Theriot has experienced no physical issues in camp and will start at shortstop for the foreseeable future.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.