Yesterday Starlin Castro lost track of the number of outs in the fifth inning of yesterday’s game and allowed the Giants to score what proved to be the winning run. After the game, Cubs manager Dale Sveum has put Castro on notice:
“It’s the last straw. If he wants to play, he better start getting his head in the game. Period … It’s not acceptable. These things got to stop happening or we’re just going to stop playing. These are things that my son does in high school – maybe.”
Something tells me that the son of a former big leaguer and current big league manager wouldn’t make that kind of mistake, actually.
As for Castro: he apologized to his teammates after the game. But still: dude is not a rookie anymore. And there are too many decisions to be made at shortstop to allow for that kind of bubbleheaded crap. He really needs to shape up.
Oh, and one small quibble: unless Sveum actually benches Castro now, this was technically the penultimate straw at best, right?
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.