For Starlin Castro in 2014, the shortstop is going back to what got him to the Major Leagues.
When the season begins on Monday for the Cubs, Castro is not going to try to be a player that he is not. That player being one that values being on-base while working quality at bats. Instead, Castro is going to be the type of player that he was for the Cubs in 2010 and 2011.
In Castro’s first two seasons in the Major League, the shortstop was a hitting machine for the Cubs. Castro hit at least .300 in his first two seasons with the Cubs including hitting safely 207 times in 2011. The approach for Castro was simple in his first two seasons. The approach being see ball, hit ball.
Then, once Dale Sveum became the Cubs manager in 2012, the Cubs were intent on changing Castro’s approach. Sveum was intending to transform Castro into a player that is more commonly linked with Theo Epstein. That being a player that values quality at bats and being on base. The transformation did not work as Castro hit .283 with the Cubs in 2012 and .245 with the team last season.
Sveum is no longer the Cubs manager. The new sheriff in town is Rick Renteria. Renteria has a reputation around baseball for getting the best out of young players. That is what Renteria intends to do with Castro. Castro is one of first Cubs players that Renteria spoke with once his hiring became official and the first-year manager has a plan in place for the shortstop to bounce back in 2014. The plan calls for Castro to be himself and not something he isn’t. It is a plan that makes Castro poised to bounce back from down-2013 season.
Castro is not going to have a high on base percentage. However, Castro has the potential to be a player that can secure close to 200 hits in a season. That type of production could be very beneficial to the Cubs offense in 2014 considering Castro will be hitting in front of run producers in Anthony Rizzo and Mike Olt.
Castro could very well return to the grace of Cubs fans in 2014 considering he is using the same approach that has already made him a two-time All Star.