Monday, May 7, 2012
Streaking/Slumping: Castro speeds it up
By Bruce Levine
Starlin Castro continues to surge while Carlos Marmol earned a demotion last week.
1. Bryan LaHair, 1B: The Cubs’ early season MVP continues to put up All-Star numbers and have impressive at-bats, working the count and hitting the ball to the opposite field. LaHair has been on the Streaking list every week of the season. The Cubs have 15 home runs, and LaHair accounts for almost half with seven, including three last week. His .390 batting average heading into Monday’s game ranked second in the National League as did his .478 on-base percentage.
2. Starlin Castro, SS: The stolen base is the latest weapon that this future superstar has begun to develop. Castro has 11 steals which puts him on pace for 60 this season. Give credit to the Cubs coaching staff, which has worked hard with Castro and the entire team on being aggressive on the basepaths since the start of spring training. Castro once again had a solid week at the plate, hitting over .400 with a home run and 7 RBIs and is batting .345, good for sixth in the National League.
1. Carlos Marmol, RP: A penchant for using his slider rather than his fastball cost Marmol the closer job for now. A meltdown of enormous proportions in Cincinnati had the coaching staff and Marmol headed back to the basics on rediscovering his fastball grip. He walked seven and allowed four runs in three innings last week and has a 5.59 ERA with 13 walks in 9 2/3 innings this season. On a positive note he had a shutout inning in a mop-up role on Saturday against the Dodgers.
2. Chris Volstad, SP: Winless in his starts since since July 10, 2011, Volstad seems to be a different pitcher with runners on base. Most of his innings have been decent except for one fatal frame per game. Last week Volstad gave up nine earned runs in 11 innings over two starts. He is 0-4 with a 6.55 ERA in four starts this season. Manager Dale Sveum said Volstad will stay in the rotation for now, however a move to the bullpen could take place if he doesn’t pick up his game soon.