Is all play, no rest best for Castro?
March, 27, 2013
By Jesse Rogers
AP Photo/Morry GashStarlin Castro has missed just four games in his two full major league seasons.MESA, Ariz. -- Should Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro play all 162 games again this season?
Manager Dale Sveum has the definitive view on the topic.
"When you're thinking about winning the division by one game or getting in the wild card by one game and give those guys too many days off and you lose that one game (it's not good)," Sveum said on Tuesday. "That's the mentality that goes into it. Guys play the game, if they're not hurt they play."
Castro played in all 162 games last season so it stands to reason Sveum will send him out there for all of them again. But is it a good idea?
"Castro has come a long way in his development," Sveum said. "He had to develop more in the big leagues than other guys do. Sometimes we forget that. Hopefully a lot of those errors that come about from young players come from lack of concentration. Those are the things we have to get rid of. We gradually did that last year. That's the next level we have to get to, where those are very minimal."
But couldn't a case be made that a day off for a young player can help reduce those mental mistakes? The season is a grind. Knowing there's a day in the near future to rest mind and body might not be a bad thing. But that's not how Sveum grew up in the game.
"I'm old school that way," he said. "If you have players that good, going into the season you want consistency and if the consistency is there then those guys play 162 games. That's why they get paid a lot of money and they're one of the best in baseball at their job. The one thing you learn, the people that are behind them, are behind them for a reason."
Sveum was quick to point out if a day off is needed of course Castro or anyone else would get one. He just doesn't like scheduling them ahead of time. Some managers do.
Sveum's best evidence that playing in 162 isn't necessarily all bad is that Castro's infamous mental mistakes happened earlier in the season. If the season was wearing on him the opposite probably would have been true. Plus, he's young.
"For the most part the best players play," Sveum said.