7/8 Castro ready for All-Star Game
Starlin Castro tuned up for the All-Star Game by hitting a three-run home run on Sunday. While some of his teammates were headed to LaGuardia to catch a flight to the Dominican Republic, Castro was bound for the All-Star Game in Kansas City.
“I don’t want to go home,” Castro said. “It’s not rest. You’ve seen the commercials [for the All-Star Game]. It’s not a break. I want to be in the All-Star game every year. I’ve got time to be in my house in October and rest. Now, I don’t need it.”
Castro does lead all National League shortstops in hits with 100, but finished the trip 6-for-26. Sveum would like to see the youngster make some adjustments at the plate, especially with his leg kick and timing, but called those “winter projects.”
“Right now, he is what he is,” Dale Sveum said. “The bat speed and power are there. The pitch selection and timing of that leg kick won’t always dictate consistency. He’ll get his hits because of his hand-eye coordination. The home runs will come with better pitch selection.”
What his teammates have noticed is better focus.
“Obviously, he’s not turning around and looking in the outfield [to see] where pitches are going this year, so that’s always a good step,” Ryan Dempster said jokingly, referring to a moment last season when Castro was caught on camera looking away. “He’s making his strides and his ability to read the plays. When the pitcher is going inside, he’s moving around and he’s turning double plays and his range is great and obviously, he can hit. When you’re the shortstop, you’re the leader of the defense and he’s taken over that role.”
— Carrie Muskat