Cubs mailbag: Welington Castillo

September, 4, 2013
9/04/13
4:03
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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Welington Castillo Dilip Vishwanat/Getty ImagesCubs catcher Welington Castillo is hitting .270 with four home runs this season.


It’s time to open up the mailbag as Chicago Cubs catcher Welington Castillo answers your questions.

Who is filling the mentor role with Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus gone? -- Fernando (Zion)
That’s a tough question. I guess Jeff Samardzija. He’s been leading a little bit. Talking to young guys, telling them positive stuff. I think he’s assuming that role.

What adjustments have you made to improve your approach with RISP (runners in scoring position)? Do you shorten your swing or look to go the other way? -- Jerry (Eau Claire, Wis.)
I think if I simplify everything I’m going to be better. Don’t try to do too much. Just calm down a little bit because every time men are on base I want to do the job so bad. I think experience will help, and taking a deep breath and calm down.

What is your favorite pitch to call from which pitcher? -- Tommie (Chicago)
When Samardzija has his splitter going I think that’s nasty because the hitter doesn’t know where that splitter is going. There’s others. When Jake Arrieta has his breaking ball, his curveball going, that’s nasty too.

Who have been your three biggest mentors in baseball? -- Ernie (Miami)
One is my dad. Actually my whole family. In baseball, I like Yadier Molina. He’s a good hitter and a great defensive catcher. He works hard and cares about his teammates. He’s a champion, why not look up to him?

What do you think you can do to improve your power numbers? -- Zacahry (Los Angeles)
I think my power is there. I don’t hit enough homers. I just think playing time will do it.

How long do you and the starter spend on going over the scouting charts before the game? -- Aaron (Knoxville)
Just like 10 minutes and go over the lineup. It's not a big deal. We agree on what we want to throw and we go out there.

Which current Cubs pitcher has the toughest pitch to catch and what is that pitch? -- George (Wrigleyville)
I think it’s Chris Rusin. He’s tougher to catch because his ball has a lot of movement. He has a funky arm delivery. He doesn’t know where the ball is going. He’s not easy to catch.

Man I love your arm, and you have a cannon, sir. What are your mechanics like when you throw someone out? -- Adrian (Chicago)
Just balance. But you can’t really think too much. You don’t have time. You just react. You see him going and you just go for it.

Where's your long-term contract? -- Henry (Joliet)
I don’t know when they want to give it to me. I just worry about playing and trying to win. Everything else will take care of itself.

What has been like to play with Dioner Navarro all year? -- JR (Chicago)
He’s a funny guy. Likes to talk a lot. He tries to motivate. He knows how to play baseball. He knows a lot. He’s been a really good help to me. He can hit and he’s a good catcher. But I’m faster than him.

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.292 14 65 58
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
WJ. Arrieta 10
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167