Now What is Starlin Castro Being Criticized for? And Other Bullets

dale sveum starlin castroYesterday, we took the kiddos to a concert, a parade, a fair, and a dog frisbee catching competition. And then I had Taco Bell at 10pm. If that ain’t celebrating America’s birthday, I don’t know what is.

  • Starlin Castro is getting a lot of grief for failing to score on an Alfonso Soriano single yesterday, on which it looked like the kind of hit that would easily lead to a run.  If you missed the play, you can watch it here and jump into the whirlwind of educated opinions. To me, it looks like Castro got a bad jump, and wasn’t running all out on his way to third base. What’s not clear is why he was not running all out initially. His bad jump, and the location of the ball might have messed up his rhythm slightly, and then he was rounding third, so he necessarily slowed a bit. From there, he busted it. I’m really not sure I can look at that play and say that Castro wasn’t trying his hardest. I think he was. I just think there was some kind of rumblin’-bumblin’-stumblin’ going on at the beginning.
  • It seems like the whole thing was just the matter of a perfect play and throw by A’s left fielder Yoenis Cespedes. “It seemed like a no-brainer right off the bat. I don’t know what happened there,” Dale Sveum said of the play, per Cubs.com. “It surprised me,” Castro said. “I ran hard right away. When I saw the ball hit, I went right away to home plate and he made a good throw …. The guy made a great throw. I thought I’d score easy. I never stopped, I never said to myself, ‘I’m out.’ I ran hard right away [from] second base. I was surprised I was out.” I’m not going to make much ado about nothing here. A bad jump, otherwise decent running, and a perfect throw. That’s probably all this is.
  • Carlos Villanueva is going to get the start on Sunday after all, in place of the departed Scott Feldman. Chris Rusin was just a one-game fill-in, and Villanueva will now move back into the rotation for the foreseeable future. I’d be surprised to see him throw too many pitches on Sunday, though.
  • Can you spot the saddest part of this Dale Sveum quote, from ESPN: “[Travis Wood has] been our All-Star, no question about it. He’s had some very unfortunate incidents, or his earned run average could be quite a bit better than it is. Sometimes a guy like Travis Wood might get overlooked, but he’s definitely been our All-Star.” Anybody see it? “Our All-Star.” Like, one. Like, as in, it’s been clear that the Cubs have just one All-Star, and it’s Travis Wood.
  • Another Cubs outfielder went down yesterday, as Brian Bogusevic left early with hamstring tightness. Hopefully it’s a minor thing, as he hasn’t been put on the DL just yet.
  • FanGraphs’ Eno Sarris has an additional explanation to heap onto the surprising 2013 success of Kevin Gregg: dude’s starting out with his feet slightly farther apart. Sometimes that’s all it takes, though I’d imagine there are some other differences (we’ve previously discussed his increasing reliance on a very nice sinker). Whatever the case, the change remains further evidence that Gregg’s sublime performance this year is legit.
  • This is absolutely, unequivocally unacceptable. If it wasn’t bad enough that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was stealing all of the national baseball attention, now he’s doing the unthinkable. He’s stealing Luis Valbuena’s bat flip.
  • In case you missed it yesterday with the holiday, I did some musing on the Cubs’ international spending proclivities this year, and expounded on a theory that could make the front office look like geniuses (as if they need my help).
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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