3/12 Lou: Age not a factor with Castro
Lou Piniella knows there’s a lot of hype surrounding shortstop Starlin Castro.
“He’s really made a good representation of himself here,” Piniella said Friday. “It’s been fun for me to watch him and for the coaches who worked with him. The other kid who has done really nice here is [Tyler] Colvin. He takes a nice pass at the ball every time, he’s a good outfielder. He’s vastly improved with the bat from what we saw last September.”
OK, but let’s get back to Castro. The Cubs will make some roster moves next week but Castro will stay in the big league camp. Aramis Ramirez said he thinks the 19-year-old shortstop is ready.
“We’ve talked about the fact that young players, the real good ones, come up early,” Piniella said. “The average age for a Major Leaguer is 23, 24, in that time frame. As a starter, you get 300, 400 innings [in the Minor Leagues], 2,500 at-bats as a hitter. The ones who are good, the ones who are exceptional, they come up early. They can adapt and adjust. I don’t think the age is a determining factor here.”
The Cubs do have a good shortstop already in Ryan Theriot. There isn’t a need for one.
“He’s fun to watch play, he plays very relaxed, very self assured,” Piniella said of Castro. “Obviously, he has the physical talents, the good arm, the good hands, smooth. With the bat, he hits the ball this way [to right] and yesterday he turned on one. Let’s continue to play here.”
Castro’s age is not the determining factor. Piniella was Alex Rodriguez’s manager when he first came up to the big leagues at 19. He played three weeks and then was sent back to the Minors.
“The big thing is get their feet on the ground, get the goosebumps out, let them know what it feels like,” Piniella said. “Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker, they came up and they never went down. The kids who are super good, they don’t fit in that 23 [year old] category.”
— Carrie Muskat