Entering Saturday’s game Starlin Castro had accumulated 508 hits since making his major league debut on May 7, 2010, the most by any player in the National League in that stretch of time. However, even though Castro has tasted success, Dale Sveum wants more from him and Castro seems to have bought into his manager’s plan.
“We don’t want to be hit-chasers,” Sveum said. “We want him to be a complete, full, prolific-type hitter. Those kind of three-run homers happen more often because of the timing issues. Not just being worried about hits, the OPS and all that comes into play with adjusting to situations.”
Sveum isn’t complaining about Castro’s early career success. However, the Cubs don’t seem satisfied with Castro just being good.
“There are some inconsistencies, but it’s just a matter of getting to another level,” Sveum said of his young shortstop. “He’s at one level, but we want to get this 22-year-old kid to another level.”
After hitting a three-run homer in yesterday’s 7-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, Castro admitted that he removed his patented leg kick against Pirates reliever Jared Hughes. Sveum said it’s something the two have been working on to remove permanently. For now Castro is adjusting to removing the leg kick to help his timing when facing pitchers that predominantly use fastballs, like Cincinnati Reds flame-throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman.
“It’s one of those things you like to see, quiet all that down because of the eye-hand coordination that he has,” Sveum said. “I think that kind of stuff can happen more often without the leg kick and the little hand gesture that he has in there too.”