When the Chicago Cubs traded Jeff Samardzija last July to Oakland, the return they got was a very good one that included one of the best young infielders in the Minors at the time.
The weird thing is that this infielder was a shortstop and the Cubs have a fairly good one who has been there for quite sometime. That man, Starlin Castro, is now looking like he may be the odd man out on the North Side of Chicago.
When Addison Russell was called up earlier in the year, there were many questions as to where he would play and if Castro would eventually get traded. The Cubs have a surplus of middle infielders especially with Javier Baez down in Triple-A Iowa.
After this past weekend’s series with the Giants in which they swept San Francisco at home, Russell was the starting shortstop in three of the four games with Castro only getting playing time at all back on Thursday at shortstop.
Now, it looks like there might be some clarity to the situation as manager Joe Maddon has tied up some loose ends.
Maddon says when there's a lefty starter Starlin Castro could very well be the starter at 2nd. Addison Russell isn't moving off SS
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 11, 2015
Addison Russell looks to have locked down the shortstop position at least for the time being. Since getting called up a few months back, Russell has hit .240 with seven homers, 30 RBIs to go along with a .670 OPS. He has looked good and as he gains more experience in the big leagues, Russell’s numbers will definitely improve.
As for Castro, according to Jesse Rogers, he started some drills at second base along with at third as it looks like Russell will be the starting shortstop for the foreseeable future. Castro will probably begin to platoon with Chris Coghlan who has been getting the start at second base versus righties as of late.
It is probably not fantastic news for Castro, but he understands the process and will do what is best for the team’s success.
“It’s not about us (me), it’s about the team,” Castro told reporters.
It looks as if the Cubs will hold on to Castro for the rest of 2015, but come 2016, don’t be surprised if he gets dealt with the surplus of infielders Chicago has on the North Side.