Six games are in the books for the Chicago Cubs, who finished their road trip with a 2-4 record. Despite their subpar performance in many aspects (ahem, Carlos Marmol), the Cubs have also had some bright spots in their six contests.
Here are three important hot starts which will continue through the 2013 Cubs season.
All stats courtesy of MLB.com
Excluding Scott Feldman's rough start, the Cubs starting pitching has a stellar 1.90 ERA through 30.4 innings pitched. The four starters—Edwin Jackson, Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood and Carlos Villanueva—have only allowed 16 hits, one home run and walked 10.
The Cubs rotation is known for their depth, and they have shown it in their first two series even without Matt Garza, who is sidelined with a lat injury. He said recently that he hopes to return early in May.
Garza's return will only bolster an already steady rotation.
Welington Castillo has been off to a hot start at the plate, hitting .357 with a .400 on-base percentage. He has two doubles and three strikeouts in 14 at-bats.
Castillo has said himself that he understands that he will be scrutinized for his offense.
His offense isn't exactly something to scoff at, though. Catchers are rarely known for their hitting. His career .267 average is tied with Johnny Bench, although Castillo has only played in 67 games. That number is merely for perspective, not to compare Castillo with a Hall of Fame catcher.
Overall, the Cubs defense has performed well in their first six games. They have committed five errors, with only two of them coming from regular starters (Starlin Castro and Luis Valbuena). The other three have come from starting pitcher Scott Feldman, backup catcher Dioner Navarro and infielder Brent Lillibridge.
Neither Valbuena nor Lillibridge will see a high amount of playing time once Darwin Barney and Ian Stewart return from the disabled list. The Cubs defense will continue to perform, especially with the return of Gold Glove second baseman Darwin Barney.