On June 21 in Minnesota, Starlin Castro went 3-for-4 and was hitting .271/.305/.353. That's not great, but it would be perfectly acceptable if the hitters around him were contributing.
Since then Castro is 13-for-88 with three doubles and four RBI. That translates to .148/.183/.182, which is awful. He's not striking out much -- only 15 times in that span covering 24 games -- but he's not doing anything else useful at the plate, either (four walks).
I'm not sure what the answer is, but he needs to find it soon, because that's not going to cut it for a big-league shortstop who has hit better in multiple seasons up to now.
One more thing: for the next two days, we are all big White Sox fans.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Schwarber C, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soler RF, Coghlan LF, Castro SS, Hammel P, Russell 2B
Phillips 2B, Votto 1B, Frazier 3B, Bruce RF, Pena C, Byrd CF, Suarez SS, Schumaker LF, Iglesias P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Hammel had to leave his last start, July 8, with some leg issues. According to all reports he's fine and ready to go, having not missed a start. The All-Star break and the way the rotation was arranged helped with this. His only start against the Reds this year, June 12 at Wrigley Field, wasn't all that good -- 103 pitches in five innings, four runs, two earned -- but he's continued to pitch consistently well since then.
Raisel Iglesias has made seven big-league appearances, five of them starts, and hasn't really been good in any of them. Signed out of Cuba last year, he has very little professional experience in the USA -- just those seven appearances and six starts at Triple-A Louisville this year. He was rated Baseball America's No. 58 prospect before this season, so there was certainly hope for him to do better than he has. He has never faced the Cubs or anyone on their roster. In short, who knows?
Today's game is on CSN Chicago. In some parts of the USA this game will be seen on MLB Network (check your cable/satellite listings).
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The 2015 Game Thread procedure has changed a bit. Here's how it will work going forward.
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.