Cubs Notes: Sveum considers break for Castro
CHICAGO – Shortstop Starlin Castro, arguably the Cubs’ best everyday player, doesn’t get too many days off.
He’s started all 64 games this season, but a seat on the bench for a mental break might be on the horizon. Entering Saturday’s game against the Red Sox, Castro owned a .203 batting average in June with 16 strikeouts and a walk in 14 games. He was mired in a 1-for-17 slump, which includes seven strikeouts, dropping his average to .292.
“It’s a possibility I’ve thought about just to be able to sit back,” manager Dale Sveum said. “And it might be coming pretty close because it looks like he’s pressing a little bit at the plate. We’ll see. He’s still a huge asset on that field every day though.”
Castro has hit nothing like the player who is tied for the fourth-most hits (423) in baseball since he made his major league debut May 7, 2010. If Castro gets a break within the next week, Sveum is considering having him sit with a coach on the bench to break down and talk about the game.
“It’s an idea you think about all the time when you do give everyday players a day off, especially a young player,” Sveum said. “It’s just hard to do when you’re not winning a lot of ballgames to take one of, if not your best player, out of the lineup.”
Marmol the closer: Now that Carlos Marmol has regained the closer role after Friday’s save, his first since a ninth-inning meltdown May 3 at Cincinnati, the rest of the bullpen can finally fall in place.
One-time closers James Russell and Shawn Camp revert to their seventh and eighth inning roles.
“Just get him on track to be able to throw strikes,” Sveum said.
Draft picks signed: Less than a month until the signing deadline for players chosen in the First-Year Player Draft, the Cubs announced Saturday they have signed 15 players.
Right-handed pitcher Paul Blackburn, chosen in the compensation round and the 56th overall pick, is the highest-drafted player the Cubs have signed and one of five pitchers. Blackburn, from Brentwood, Calif., went 8-3 with a 1.27 ERA for Heritage High School.
Eighth-round pick and 2008 Prairie Ridge graduate Michael Heesch also signed with the Cubs. Heesch, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound left-hander, played for South Carolina Beaufort.
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