Cubs paying attention to Starlin Castro’s approach at plate
BY TONI GINNETTI Staff Reporter April 4, 2014 9:34PM
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 04: Starlin Castro #13 of the Chicago Cubs hits a run scoring single in the 3rd inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during the home opener at Wrigley Field on April 4, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 477579707
Updated: May 6, 2014 6:15AM
The Cubs had only three hits Friday against six Philadelphia Phillies pitchers. One of the hits was an RBI single from shortstop Starlin Castro.
But to hear some after the Cubs’ 7-2 loss, Castro is front and center in the Cubs’ offensive woes.
‘‘We don’t look at his outcomes in terms of hit, but he did have a hit today,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. ‘‘We look at the approach, and those are things we continue to talk about, to see if we can get him to focus in on those [things].
‘‘But [the team] didn’t have a very good plan of attack in general.’’
After getting one hit in 27 at-bats with runners in scoring position in three games in Pittsburgh, the Cubs had only three opportunities Friday. Castro delivered once in the third with a two-out single off starter Roberto Hernandez (1-0).
‘‘Focus is staying [mentally] in the game and concentrating on my at-bats and in the field,’’ said Castro, who said the biting wind and cold were difficult for him.
Castro missed most of spring training with a hamstring injury. He’s hitting .118, but so is first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who had a solid full spring. He hit .321 with two home runs and 11 RBI.
‘‘I feel OK,’’ Castro said. ‘‘It’s been tough to score runs from the first game, but not just us. We left a lot of men in scoring position, but if we keep aggressive, we’ll be all right. Every day is a new day.’’
That is the mantra Renteria repeats for a season still in its infancy.
‘‘We didn’t do a good job on the offensive side,’’ he said. ‘‘It seemed the ball was traveling well, but we were just missing sometimes.’’
And he was quick to dismiss any suggestions that the team’s early fortunes are reason for concern.
‘‘It’s the fourth game of the season, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t panic,’’ he said. ‘‘We will maintain. Offenses rise and fall, and the whole thing is to try to keep some kind of even-keeled approach through the whole season, and that’s what we’ve got to try to do.’’