Miscues could land Castro on bench

Updated: August 10, 2012, 7:55 PM ET
By Doug Padilla | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum didn't even try to hide his disappointment Friday with shortstop Starlin Castro.

On a day when Castro made a fielding error on a routine ground ball and was thrown out on the bases after a decoy by the defense, Sveum was even considering a disciplinary day off for the team's young All-Star.

"I don't know," Sveum said when asked if he was disappointed enough to put his shortstop on the bench. "I'll think about it."

Sveum's biggest disappointment during the 10-8 defeat to the Cincinnati Reds seemed to come in the sixth inning. With Castro on first base after a bloop single, he tried to steal a base with the Cubs down five runs and with Josh Vitters at the plate.

As Castro broke for second, Vitters hit a single to right field. Castro approached second base as the Reds Brandon Phillips executed a perfect decoy, pretending he was about to receive a throw from third base. Castro froze, looked to head back to first base and then proceeded on to third.

By that time, Reds right fielder Xavier Paul got the ball to third baseman Wilson Valdez and Castro was tagged out easily.

"He's decoyed, but if you're going to steal a base five runs down, you better damn know where the ball's hit," Sveum said.

Afterward, Castro admitted to losing sight of the ball but claimed mixed messages from the base coaches also caused confusion. He seemed to also know that he wouldn't be able to explain it away so easily.

"(Sveum) hasn't talked to me yet," Castro said. "I don't know if he will talk to me tomorrow."

Sveum said that he indeed has plans to sit Castro down for a chat. It's not the first time Sveum has been troubled by Castro's lack of concentration. Castro lost track of how many outs there were in an early June game at San Francisco but seemed to be better focused after that blunder.

At just 22 years old, Castro is younger than Anthony Rizzo, Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters. But Sveum said that Castro's miscues Friday had nothing to do with being young.

"No, it's not part of a young team," Sveum said. "That had nothing to do with being young today."

Sveum is making it clear that even though the Cubs are 23 games under .500 at 44-67, he still expects professionalism to be at its highest.

"I'm a little upset today, yeah," he said. "There were just a few things taken for granted today and some things aren't acceptable when you just take some things for granted. And it wasn't just the base running blunder either."

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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