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He's definitely been less fun to watch the last season and two months, that's for sure. The guy still shows flashes of being something special (relative to the defensive position he plays, albeit not for defensive reasons), but he's looking more like a guy who will insist on swinging his way on to the tune of a really low OBP and not much power, to say nothing of his mental shortcomings with the glove.
The really frustrating part is that the scouting reports on Castro since he signed raved about his 'coachability'... He was a kid who supposedly took instruction well and improved on his game. He's a special talent, but this far into his career -- that sounds more and more like wishful thinking or hope projection. He's basically the same player he was his rookie year
"I'm not saying the Cubs should put him on the block or anything but I'd prefer the Cubs trade him."
Zonk, I think the view of Castro you're espousing here is heavily shaded by Castro having two pretty poor months here at the start of the year. At that point, I think you're doing the opposite of what used to drive me nuts about Dusty Baker - when he would take a players absolute peak, and continue to talk about that as if it was his true talent level, even when that peak was years in the past.
This year, I can't disagree with any of your critiques of Castro. But what about the second half of last year, when Castro suddenly walked 7.3% of the time over 300+ PAs? That was 57 point of On-base, and iso slugging of 165. That's only a small improvement in his walk rate from when he arrived (and his plate discipline is the area that frustrates me the most, too), but his iso as a rookie was 108. Using his rookie year ABs, that would have been another 27 bases - or, 9 singles turned into HRs.
Of course, we're not seeing that this year. We're seeing Shawon Dunston-like waving at out of the zone crap, and the frustration is growing for everyone. I think Castro's game has grown, but inconsistently. He's got more power, but his approach seems as immature as ever, and he doesn't seem to recognize that pitchers are exploiting it more. What we're seeing is more like splinter skills, rather than a uniformly developing approach to the game. It would seem like Castro should be beyond that by now, and maybe that's all he's ever going to be. But it's not quite right to say that there's been no progress.
I'm just saying that if there's another team out there that still sees shiny possibilities of a 5 WAR player and they're willing to deal based on that evaluation, I'm going to be listening...
Because what are you hoping to get in return? Another young, cost-controlled shortstop (or pick another position with a relatively low bar for above-averagishness) with a non-zero chance at stardom? If Baez were ready and there wasn't room for him, sure. But whether or not you're disappointed in him, he's exactly the type of player the rebuilding Cubs should be looking to *add* not *subtract*.
He was a 3.6 WAR player just last year. He's still 23. You think the ship has sailed on him improving from 3.6 WAR to 5.0 WAR?
That's not a position that I think you can really defend. In fact, I'm not sure what you've got except for lazy Garry Templeton references and "OMG he swings at bad pitches!!!!!" and a bunch of lame Christina Kahrl impersonations (seriously, try to talk about young players just once without using the word "wishcasting").
I think one key factor here that makes me MORE willing to listen to offers is that Castro's contract is such that there really aren't any teams that would be prevented from pursuing him. It's not a Sosa situation where only a select few teams could afford him (during his salad days, when there was question about whether the Cubs would or should pony up) -- even teams like the Pirates, the Rays, et al ought to be able to afford him.
I think I'd be tempted to pull the trigger on that
Every aspect of his game -- at the plate, on the field, and on the bases -- lacks the sort of discipline you'd want to see emerge at this point. It's just "OMG he swings at bad pitchers" -- it's "OMG, he swings at bad pitches" plus "OMG he just made another boneheaded error/had another mental lapse at SS" plus "OMG, he just ran into another out".
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