8/22 Castro gets “mental day off”
Mike Quade said Starlin Castro’s nonchalant defensive play on Sunday was “unacceptable” and gave the 21-year-old shortstop a day off Monday. Castro was caught with his back to home as Cubs reliever James Russell was delivering a pitch in the sixth inning of their game against the Cardinals. ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine criticized the young shortstop for his lackadaisical play.
“I was really disappointed and very surprised at [Castro],” Quade said Monday. “It is something that we have been after him from day one, focus-wise. It’s something that, to be honest, with his talent, is his toughest challenge. It’s not acceptable, not good.”
Quade said he won’t use Castro’s inexperience as an excuse for the lapse.
“He is young, but that’s not an excuse anymore,” Quade said. “We’ll continue to treat him as a guy who has to learn stuff but when it comes to concentrating on every pitch, I don’t think you can use his age as an out.”
Quade called Monday a “mental day off,” and said he would take it one day at a time. The Cubs manager met with Castro. The shortstop’s response?
“He didn’t think [Russell] was ready and done with his warmups and ready to make a pitch,” Quade said. “It’s ESPN, it’s four minutes between [innings], but that’s not an excuse — he needs to be ready.”
As for Valentine’s comments, Quade said he didn’t hear them. Quade opted to watch the replay with the volume on mute.
“I don’t listen to Bobby very much,” Quade sad. “I don’t want any outside influences and make up my own decisions.”
— Carrie Muskat