Vine Line on new Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro
It’s often said in the Cubs organization that players will tell you when they’re ready. After an impressive spring training and start at Double A in which he never stopped hitting, Starlin Castro’s bat and glove have gotten him the go-ahead all the way to Chicago.
General manager Jim Hendry spoke to the media earlier today by phone, and he emphasized that defense is the big reason Castro’s contract was selected today. Castro will play shortstop, moving Ryan Theriot over to second base, which Hendry feels will be a better spot for Theriot at this point in his career.
Looking to learn more about Castro before his big-league debut tonight? We wanted to post a couple of our recent stories from Vine Line. The Farm Report gives the scouting report on the top prospect — as well as an update on the organization’s depth at shortstop. The Inside Pitch talks about how manager Lou Piniella might use the 20-year-old Castro, just like he did a certain other young shortstop in Seattle. (Get more stories on cubs.com/vineline)
For full quotes from Hendry, click past the jump.
On what earned Castro the promotion: He’s a quality prospect and a quality young man. We made the move for a couple reasons: He’s played awfully well at Double A for the first 28, 30 games of the season — very low error rate this year and swinging the bat very well. And we also felt that he could come up and we would get better defensively having him at short and moving Ryan to second, which we think will be good for him, too. Obviously Ryan’s a quality player, .300 hitter, but we do feel at this point in his career that he might be better suited to go to the other side of the bag.
On expectations for Castro: Hopefully this young man will get off to a good start. We certainly won’t put a lot of pressure on him to do that. We just want him to come up and play good defense and let the offense take care of itself. I’m sure Lou’s going to hit him down at the bottom of the lineup for a while and let him get adjusted. Nobody’s a finished product when they get to the big leagues at 20, so we certainly don’t want him to feel that kind of pressure, but I think that sometimes young players give the club a lift.
On moving Theriot to second base: This move was going to come sometimes this year, that was no secret. Ryan and I had a few talks about that even before yesterday, and he knew this was coming some time. And we felt we were going to do it now instead of later. … Ryan has played a lot of second base before. When he first came up to the big leagues, he played second in September. It will be a very easy transition — that’s not a hard transition at all going from shortstop to second. I think he’ll adapt real well and even think he’ll be a better offensive player, which he’s already a very good one right now.