Versitility. To be a true team player and a successful athlete is the name of the game. Knowing what your role is and dedicating yourself to be the best as you possibly can is no easy task, yet Starlin Castro excels at it. The Cub’s middle infielder has taken on a new role in his sixth year with the organization. In his previous five seasons in the MLB Castro has experienced much success, making the All-Star game three times and a contender for rookie of the year, but this season contained many challenges for him.
In April, Castro posted a phenomenal .325 batting average, but his success did not continue. He struggled in May, June, and July batting a mere .221, .245, and .170 respectively. As a result of his decline, manager Joe Maddon has made Castro fill different roles on the field. While Castro typically played Shortstop exclusively, Maddon has been having him play Second Base and even come off the bench sometimes. Castro has appeared in 142 of the Cubs 156 games and played 109 at Shortstop and the other 33 at Second base. He has come off the bench 14 times. This change of role from a starting shortstop to a utility type player could have easily disrupted any athlete, but it has done just the opposite for Castro.
Following the All-Star break Castro hit .296 in August and is currently batting at an incredible .397 in September. Along with his outstanding batting average in September, Castro drove 18 runs which is 6 higher than any other month for him this season. All of this has Cubs fans optimistic to see how Castro can produce for the cubs as they head into the postseason. But on a larger scale Castro shows promise to the future of the organization and is truly an inspiration to all young athletes. The difference between a talented team and a championship team is the willingness of its players to sacrifice their expectations for the good of the team.
If players chose to look at the big picture and dedicate themselves to accomplishing the role they are given the team is bound to be more successful. Joe Maddon has challenged many of his players to do this, and Castro rising to the challenge is definitely a great sign for the years to come. Castro has set a standard of what it really means to be a Chicago Cub. By working relentlessly after being demoted from his previous role, he has shown that he is working for the team's success before his own. This selfless attitude is what carries Championship teams, and what all Cubs fans hope can carry their team through the playoffs and the seasons ahead.