No one really notices this sort of thing if Starlin Castro didn’t hit 6 RBI in his big-splash major league debut last Friday, but he did, so people notice. It was a bad night for Castro against the Marlins, as he committed three errors at short. A video reel of all three can be seen here.
For those who can’t watch the video, the first one came in the third inning when he fielded a grounder and appeared to throw it before he came set, sending the ball up the first base line. Castro appeared to come set on the second error — this one in the sixth inning — but his throw just sailed on him, allowing the runner to reach.
The third error — though it did not lead to a Marlins run — was perhaps the most problematic. It came with Hanley Ramirez up to bat in the eighth. Castro failed to come up with the ball on a backhand play. Fair enough, that happens. What doesn’t always happen was his reaction: he jogged after the ball, which sat several yards behind him in the grass. He wasn’t in any particular hurry, and he wasn’t paying any attention to Hanley Ramirez, which allowed Ramirez to take second base.
Nerves? Youth? Brain locks? Probably all of the above. But in light of his reputation and his monster debut last week, people in Chicago are going to expect more out of him than your typical rookie shortstop, so nights like this are going to be highlighted.
With just over a month to go before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, trade rumors are beginning to crop up. According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, the Red Sox and Yankees have each reached out to the Marlins about infielder Martin Prado.
The Marlins enter play Wednesday 35-40 and in third place in the NL East. They are expected to continue to sell after trading shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays. However, as the club itself is in the middle of rumors with a handful of prospective new owners, major pieces like Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich probably won’t be moved until that is settled.
Prado, 33, is hitting .277/.299/.398 with two home runs and nine RBI in 87 plate appearances. He has played in only 21 games due to calf and hamstring injuries. When he’s healthy, though, he is typically productive and he can play all four infield positions as well as the outfield corners. Prado is under contract for the next two seasons as well, at $13.5 million and $15 million.
With either the Red Sox or Yankees, Prado would likely assume third base. The Red Sox have gotten a major league-worst .562 out of its third basemen while the Yankees have gotten a .678 OPS, 24th out of 30 teams.
The Cubs oddly made an extra visit to the White House on Tuesday. After winning the World Series, the team visited then-President Barack Obama — a Chicago sports fan — in January before he left office. But they went back today for an “informal” visit with President Trump.
The Cubs, however, have ties to the Republican party and to Trump. The Ricketts family are Republican donors and Cubs owner Tom’s brother Todd was Trump’s nominee for deputy secretary of commerce. Manager Joe Maddon is also longtime friends with Lou Barletta, the Republican representative from Hazleton, PA.
Some players chose not to join their Cubs teammates for a trip to the White House. 10 players, to be exact, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. None of those players declining to go offered a political reason, understandably so. But reliever Carl Edwards, Jr.’s excuse made a lot of sense. He said, “I’m trying to go see like the dinosaur museums.” Indeed, Edwards could have spent the afternoon at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
Other players declining to visit the White House included Jake Arrieta, Hector Rondon, Jason Heyward, Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm, and Addison Russell.