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The Chicago Cubs promoted top prospect Starlin Castro, 20, last week – a move that was questioned as panic-driven. Most thinking folks rejected that kind of criticism, believing there was no way the Cubs organization would promote a 20-year-old kid as a knee-jerk reaction to a bad series or two.

Turns out, we were wrong. Promoting Castro was, in fact, a total panic move. As reported by Carrie Muskat, responding to a question about why she had previously said Castro would not be promoted for weeks:

On May 3, I had confirmation from five highly placed Cubs officials who said they were going to wait with Castro. He’s young, they said, and needs more experience, especially on defense. They didn’t want to call him up too soon, because they wanted to make sure when Castro did arrive, he would succeed, not regress. The attitude changed [four days later] after the Cubs were swept in Pittsburgh. I trust my sources, have talked to all of them since the Castro callup, and know some still have reservations about the move. The Cubs evidently have decided they’re willing to live with the growing pains.

In other words, the organizational position went from no-way-we’re-promoting-this-kid-any-time-soon to promote-him-immediately because the Cubs were swept by the Pirates in an early May series.

That is, by definition, a panic move.

Ultimately, it may work out for Castro, who is hitting very well so far. But as talented as he is defensively, he clearly needs polish. And to hear that this was the very reason for wanting to hold back his promotion is incredibly aggravating. I hope, very much, that this all becomes a moot point.

  • Gargantua!

    How do you know you’re right on this one?

    Who is your source?

  • jstraw

    Are those rhetorical questions? Do you expect Muskat to reply to you here or can you not read?

    • wax_eagle

      looks even worse, he can’t even recognize the obviously quoted text.

  • Jeff

    I’m not really concerned with what the cubs officials have reservations about. As a fan I’ve had reservations about the lack of a true leadoff guy for years, and the lack of a solid setup game for the bullpen since Marmol was moved to closer, and team officials don’t seem too worried about those problems, or the lack of production from our aging corner infielders. I would think that adding a top prospect with superstar potential to a struggling team in need of a jump would be a no brainer ( not to mention giving them another solid utility guy and lh bat off the bench in Fontenot), but of course cubs officials would have reservations.

  • Gargantua!

    No…I want to know which officials, and why Ace would automatically classify it as a “panic move”. Lots of the world’s decisions are determined by the more immediate need.

    Ain’t always panic.

    • jstraw

      I understand what you want to know. Do you understand that Ace was quoting something that someone else wrote. Carrie Muskat says five club officials told her this. Ace is only reporting the report. Ace is just saying that Carrie Muskat reports this.

      Now I’m going to explain how this works. Carrie Muskat, like any beat reporter, has sources. Those sources speak to her because they trust her and sometimes they are speaking “on background.” “On background” means they don’t want their names in print.

      Now here’s the deal, Carrie Muskat is either someone you deem credible or she’s not. That’s entirely your call. Her job is to be reliable often enough, that when she tells you that she’s been told something but that she can’t tell you who said it, you will choose to believe her. She might fail to gain your trust…that’s just how it works. Ace either finds her credible enough to relay her report here, or finds the content worth commenting on…or both.

      That’s how it works. And yes, I’m an asshole.

  • jstraw

    This is a panic move because there really aren’t very many people you could call high officials and you know that none of the five are Hendry, because ultimately it’s his call and that Lou probably isn’t one of the five because he can *probably* say no to Castro coming up if he doesn’t want him. That means that the decision was made at or near the top, not with underlings lobbying *for* the move…but lobbying against it. Who’s got what at stake? The guys that are gonna have their career choices made for them if they don’t succeed are Hendry and Lou. This looks like a move made by someone taking the short view of things.

    • Bric

      I’m curious which officials she talked to. Bush? Kenney? Ricketts? Fleita (probably)? As I watch the Cubs trailing 10-6 in the 9th inning the only thing going through my mind is fire Lou Pinella. I know that sounds like a panic move but when you see the stands emptying by the eighth inning on a Friday afternoon in May it’s a sure sign that BIG changes better come soon or it’s going to be a very loooooooonggggggg summer. I mean, it’s the fucking Pirates! Unfortunately right now they’re saying “Big deal! It’s the fucking Cubs”. That’s what Lou’s team looks like right now. A bunch of old men who play hard for five innings. And an even older coach.

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