Alfonso Soriano Continues to Mentor Starlin Castro and Other Bullets

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Alfonso Soriano Continues to Mentor Starlin Castro and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Today’s The Wife’s and my sixth anniversary. I’m pretty sure that’s either the paper anniversary, or the sit-around-and-relax-because-it’s-Sunday anniversary. I think it’s that one.

  • Alfonso Soriano again demonstrated why he’s thought of as one of the best teammates in the game, when he yesterday took Starlin Castro aside to talk to the young shortstop about his mental gaffe on the bases on Friday. “I talked to him yesterday because he’s young in age but he’s not young anymore in the big leagues,” Soriano said, according to Doug Padilla. “He’s 22 years old but is in his third year in the big leagues so I talked to him yesterday. I said you can make an error in the field, throw the ball away, make some catches, but those errors mentally we cannot make it …. It depends on him if he wants to make it to another level or he wants to go down a level. I cannot control his mentality. He’s the only guy that can control that situation. I can help him and maybe give him motivation and things like that but I cannot control those errors mentally because that’s on him.” Soriano believes this is a critical time for Castro’s development, and is trying to make sure he stays on the right path. How many millions is that worth?
  • Dale Sveum also had a talk with Castro, but didn’t want to get into the specifics. “I talked to him for quite a while today but nothing that I really want to share with anybody,” Sveum said. “It’s more of a closed-doors meeting and it went well. He was completely …. I don’t know if remorseful is the right word, but he knew he made a big mistake in a certain part of the game five runs down. You have to be a little more prepared for that situation and do a little better job there so it went good.” Sveum made sure to talk up Castro’s progress defensively this year, though, as well as the fact that whatever he does is a little more spotlighted because of his long-standing profile as a future superstar.
  • Both Travis Wood and Dale Sveum thought Wood’s start yesterday was impressive. Wood was pleased to step up against his former mates, and Sveum was pleased that Wood pulled it off against a right-handed lineup. Wood’s overall line this year isn’t over-the-top, but his percentage of starts that you could generally classify as “good” is quite high. Barring huge changes, he’ll be in the rotation next year.
  • Brett Jackson sat out of yesterday’s game, feeling the after effects of a collision with Starlin Castro the previous day. Dale Sveum described Jackson’s soreness this way: “He felt like he got hit by a truck more than anything, more of a whiplash type of effect with that collision in center field.” Hopefully it doesn’t linger.
  • Shawn Camp and James Russell – who blew yesterday’s game (though Ryan Ludwick drilled a pretty good pitch, a high fastball that would have hit the glove perfectly) – are among the league leaders in appearances this year, and it’s fair to wonder whether the heavy workloads are now taking their toll. Each has seen his ERA rise from somewhere in the 2s as recently as last month to somewhere in the high-ish 3s.
  • Anthony Rizzo with an interview in FanGraphs.
  • At present, the Cubs are the number two road draw in baseball, behind only the Yankees. Just imagine if the Cubs weren’t terrible …
  • Speaking of the Yankees, Derek Lowe has signed with them (not the Cubs), and will pitch out of the bullpen. Thus endeth the weird Derek-Lowe-to-the-Cubs stuff.
  • It occurs to me that it would probably be best to break up Wood and Brooks Raley, who pitches today for the Cubs, in the rotation. After seeing Wood yesterday, and being kept off balance, the Reds are going to see a similar lefty today.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.