starlin castro featureNot only does Starlin Castro seem to be taking his summer demotion in stride, but he also has found himself making the most of the opportunities that have been given to him over the last month.

Take a look at Castro and his numbers and you might see a player who is trying to play his way back into the everyday lineup.

Castro is slashing .364/.373/.545 with a .379 BABIP, .395 wOBA and 151 wRC+ in 67 plate appearances over the span of 26 games played in the last 30 calendar days (i.e., his first game after being removed as the starting shortstop). Sure, Castro has walked only once (1.5 BB%), but he has also struck out only six times (9.0 K%).

And, while the 53 percent ground ball rate is still a concern, he has seen an increase in percentage of hard hit balls (36.7 percent, up from his season total of 23.9 percent) during this run of productivity.

Could this be a product of some changes in his stance?

As Brett pointed out thanks to his wizardry is screen capturing, there are some noticeable differences in Castro’s stance. It appears as if he has closed up and has been quicker to the ball because of arm placement and a reduced hand trigger. Maybe this is all in an effort to drive the ball the other way with more authority. And if it is, it has worked so far.

And then he goes out and does this:

Part of Castro’s value as a hitter when he is on is the ability to barrel up different pitches and spray the ball to all fields with authority. If he and the Cubs have unlocked something that has led to this string of strong play, it can only bode well for the future.

As for Castro’s last month, he’s been worth 0.7 fWAR, which has brought his season total up to -0.2. It would be quite a turnaround for Castro to get his WAR out of the red after being a -0.8 fWAR player in July.

But with 24 games to play, Castro still has time to build on this strong stretch of play.

Keep Reading BN ...

« | »