The New York Yankees acquired Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs to provide consistent play from the second base position, what they’re getting thus far, is unbelievable.
The New York Yankees have been in search for an elite second baseman ever since Robinson Cano departed for a 10-year, $240-million contract with the Seattle Mariners in 2013.
They tried with Brian Roberts in 2014. He batted .237 and only lasted 91 games in pinstripes. In 2015, they tried with Stephen Drew, who batted .187 and had nine more strikeouts than hits during his Bronx tenure.
Well, it took two years, but it seems as though the Yankees have found their second baseman, and his name is Starlin Castro.
On Tuesday, his first game as a member of the New York Yankees, Castro ripped an RBI double to score two runs off the reigning American League CY-Young award winner, Dallas Keuchel. Prior to that at bat, the Bombers hadn’t scored a single run of the left-hander in three games in 2015.
In his second game sporting navy blue pinstripes, Castro had an RBI single in the first inning, a three-run home run in the second inning and yet another RBI single in the seventh inning in New York’s monstrous 16-6 victory over the Houston Astros. Castro is 5-for-8 with two doubles, a home run, and seven RBI in 2016.
As if driving in seven runs through his first two games on the big stage of New York wasn’t impressive enough, Castro’s seven RBI are the most by any player in franchise history through their first two games.
“I feel pretty good at the plate,” Castro told Barry Bloom of MLB.com. “It’s a good opportunity for me to be in this organization. I’m just coming in with the same plan I had in Spring Training. Just looking to hit the ball middle all the way, and that’s working good for me right now.”
Although it’s a small sample size, and a ton can change in the course of a 162-game season, Castro’s debut in pinstripes and the performance that followed went extremely well… and that may be an understatement.
His stellar play even had fans at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night scream: “Cano who?” Funny thing is, Castro looks cool and composed, just like the nonchalant Cano was during his time manning the position from 2005 until his departure in 2013.
Castro was brought over to the Yankees in the trade that sent Adam Warren to the Chicago Cubs. The 26-year old that was supposed to help lead the Cubbies into the future, is now helping the Yankees’ lineup become more dynamic.
It took a position change, then a team change but it looks like Castro has settled in as the second baseman his new organization wished they had for the past two years.
In 35 games in Chicago and New York as a second baseman, Castro has a slash-line of .358/.375/.626 with seven home runs. Locked in the comfortable number eight spot in the lineup, where he has a .339/.414/.504 career slash line, he does not have to meet the asinine expectations that the his former organization had for him.
No crowd is harder to please than the people of New York, but with Didi Gregorious being his partner in crime, he’s adjusting quite well. Didi had to fill the shoes of Derek Jeter, who was the starting shortstop, the captain, and a legend for the Bombers since coming up in 1996.
Without a doubt, Castro is using his new double play partner to ease the transition, and through the first two games of 2016, that transition is looking smoother than Cano’s defense.
With this production continue? The Yankees can only hope, and only time will tell. But they have a guy at second base they can trust, an elite middle infield, and showed the baseball world what their lineup is capable of with Castro in it.
Starlin my darlin’, get even more comfortable. You’re the Yankees’ second baseman and you’re not going anywhere.