Castro could be moving up in order

Posted May 27, 2010

It's possible that rookie shortstop Starlin Castro could be moving up in the world, or at least in the Cubs' batting order.

Castro, who has batted second, seventh, eighth and ninth since coming up earlier this month, could be seeing more time in the No. 2 slot.

That's partly because the Cubs are 7-0 when Castro hits there.

"With Castro, we're trying to give him as much experience as we can," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Sometimes I have to use him up there at the top of the lineup. We haven't lost a game with him in the second spot. I'm well aware of that. Castro is a nice second hitter right now at the major league level, and he can hit at the back part of the lineup."

Piniella said he is comfortable with the current arrangement, which of late has seen right fielder Kosuke Fukudome lead off and second baseman Ryan Theriot bat second. Theriot was the leadoff hitter most of the time early in the season.

But Theriot has not walked since May 1, and a move to the eighth spot may do him good. Piniella may choose to do that as early as Thursday's series wrap-up with the Dodgers.

"Look, you have to hit, regardless of where you're at," Piniella said. "That's really the bottom line. If I move Theriot out of the 2-hole, I'll have to hit him in the back part of the lineup, too. Theriot's not going to hit 3-4-5, and neither is Castro. When I use one in the 2-hole, the other one has to hit in the back. We can switch there."


Tom Gorzelanny lasted only five innings, giving up seven hits and seven runs, five earned, in an 8-5 loss. Cubs fielders committed three errors. The offense chipped away late and came within 7-5 after trailing 5-0 after the second inning. The game featured an 18-minute delay in the fourth inning when the Wrigley Field lights went out.


--Gorzelanny likely is headed to the bullpen to make room for the return of Carlos Zambrano to the rotation. Gorzelanny is 2-5 with a 3.66 ERA, and he didn't sound happy about the possibility of moving to a relief role.

"I don't really know what the decision is to be made," he said. "It's not my decision. But I don't feel like I deserve the right to go to the 'pen. I feel like I've pitched well enough overall this year to be in the rotation."

--Aramis Ramirez may take some "flip drills" Thursday to test his sore left hand. Ramirez missed his second consecutive game Wednesday because of soreness between the thumb and forefinger. Piniella said the swelling is down in the hand.

--Zambrano will be available out of the bullpen beginning with Thursday's game against the Dodgers and running through Saturday's game against the Cardinals in Chicago. From there, Zambrano will move back to the rotation. He figures to start one of the games next week in Pittsburgh, with Wednesday being the most likely day.

"Carlos has been a starting pitcher here for quite awhile with success," Piniella said. "He needs to get back out there and join our rotation and win some ballgames. That's what he needs to do, is pitch well and win some ballgames out of the rotation."

--Alfonso Soriano was in left field when the lights went out in the fourth inning at Wrigley Field.

"A little crazy, man," he said. "I don't expect that to happen in the stadium, but it's a little crazy night tonight."

--Derrek Lee recorded his second three-hit game in two nights as he appears to be heating up. Lee singled three times, raising his average to .242. Piniella said he watched film of both Lee and 3B Aramis Ramirez on the off day Monday and found a couple of "simple little, little things that I thought would free (Lee)."

--Mike Fontenot subbed for Ramirez at third base and had an eventful night. He committed a throwing error in the second inning but also hit two doubles. It was Fontenot's second two-double game. The other came in 2007.

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IF Starlin Castro (profile)
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3B Aramis Ramirez (profile)
OF Alfonso Soriano (profile)
2B Ryan Theriot (profile)
SP Carlos Zambrano (profile)
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