Friday, July 12, 2013
Starlin Castro back in swing
By Bruce Levine
Starlin Castro is heating up with two homers in his last three games.
CHICAGO -- The trials and tribulations of Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro have been documented since his disappointing start to the 2013 season.
After dropping to a season low .232 average, Castro has gone on a mini-tear over the past three games. Adding a new dimension to his swing with a leg kick has helped Castro be ready for the fastball.
“I am looking for the fastball every time now,” Castro said. “I was late to the fastball and now I am adjusting to looking for fastballs. You can’t hit a good slider (anyway), you can only hit a hanging slider. If you are looking for a fastball you can hit it.”
Castro is 6-for-13 in his last four games with two home runs. Manager Dale Sveum and the hitting coaches have gotten Castro to get his weight shift on his back leg again.
“It is just a matter of him lifting his leg, but not really loading on their back side,” Sveum said. “If (his) knee never gets over their back toes, your hands end up in front of your back foot and you end up in a very weak (hitting) position.”
Castro also has been taking a lot of heat from some media and the boo-birds about his approach. For now he has a remedy for all of his critics.
“I am putting a lot of the stuff out of my mind,” he said. “I put in my three hours of work every day. After I give baseball three hours I can do whatever I want.”
The last statement by Castro indicated he was leaving the ballpark frustrated and returning the next day in the same frame of mind. For now he looks like the player who was an All-Star in both 2011 and 2012. Since June 29 Castro is hitting .299 (20-for-67). He has not made an error in 13 games.
“I am a little sad about not making it this year,” he said. “I am not going to get down about it. There is still a lot of (season) coming.”