It didn’t take Starlin Castro very long to get settled in.
Not to be outdone by Atlanta’s Jason Heyward, Castro also hit a three-run homerun in the first at-bat of his career — but he didn’t stop there. In fact, Castro ended the day with a major league record 6 RBI’s in his debut and led the Cubs to a 14-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.
After suffering a three-game sweep at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cubs felt like they needed to do something drastic to provide that shot in the arm that would get the team going again. The decision to turn to Castro seems to have worked for now, as the team combined for 14 runs and 15 hits. But what are the implications for some of the other players?
With Castro getting the start at short, Ryan Theriot moved over to second base and Mike Fontenot to the bench. In the first test, the two former LSU teammates did better than anyone could have hoped for; Theriot was the pivot man on two seamless double plays (almost three) and Fontenot belted a pinch-hit grand slam. But one game hardly tells the tale. The trick is to keep this good chemistry going and carry the momentum into the next game and beyond.
How will Theriot’s already-suspect defense hold up at second base? Will the shortened throws improve upon his defense or will his unfamiliarity with the position hurt him even more?
Will Fontenot and Jeff Baker be able to keep the rust off as both are now on the bench? If Aramis Ramirez keeps struggling, will Fontenot or Baker see more playing time at third base?
And most importantly, how will Castro fair in future games?
Obviously, there’s still a long way to go before all these questions will be answered. But for now, the team will look forward to game two of the series. Aaron Harang (1-4, 6.68) will go for the Reds tomorrow and the Cubs counter with Tom Gorzelanny (1-3, 2.48).
About the Author
Written by Eddie Kim