Castro Gets the Call
As virtually all of Cub Nation has probably already heard, the Cubs have summoned 20-year-old Starlin Castro to the bigs. He's in tonight's lineup in Cincinnati, hitting eighth. Ryan Theriot is moving over to second. Chad Tracy, meanwhile, has been banished to Iowa, Andrew Cashner has been promoted to Iowa from Tennessee, and Josh Vitters has been moved up to Tennessee from Daytona.
Back to the game tonight. Here's the batting order that will go up against the Reds' Homer Bailey:
Theriot 4, Fukudome 9, Lee 3, Byrd 8, Ramirez 5, Soriano 6, Soto 2, Castro 6, Silva 1.
Sullivan points out in the Tribune that Castro is the youngest Cubs rookie since 19-year-old Oscar Gamble made his debut 41 years ago. Ironically, Gamble also broke in against the Reds, in Cincinnati.
Also found this item in Sullivan's story amusing: Jim Hendry said these moves were not motivated by the Cubs getting swept in Pittsburgh. "I knew two days ago I was going to do this before Cincinnati," the Cubs GM said.
Some thoughts on the move by Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (subscription required):
The Dominican shortstop just turned 20 in March, but after a monster spring and this much offense so far in the Southern League, I think we can have some confidence that he's going to hit immediately. Certainly not .376, but he should hold his own.., as in yesterday's Scouting Notebook, a scout believed he could be a future 70 hitter, which is nearly batting title territory. Beyond the ability to hammer line drives all over the field, Castro has a good, not great approach, but he's not overly aggressive like Corey Patterson was, and it shouldn't be a problem in the big leagues.
Goldstein also cautions that Castro is not "some sort of massive tools monster." He rates Castro's speed as only average and says not to expect much in the way of longball power until Castro's frame fills out.