After a matchup between two relatively awful teams left Cubs fans with high hopes Monday, deeper problems still plague the mind of seasoned manager Lou Piniella.
Piniella may have made his best decision so far in the young season when he decided to start 24-year-old Tyler Colvin in replace of the struggling Alfonso Soriano on April 8. The result? Colvin belted his first career home run in his first at-bat of the season.
With Ryan Theriot struggling, to say the least—Theriot is 7-for-27 with five hits and a .185 batting average—another quick change may be in the works for a Chicago team that currently sits with record of 3-4.
That change is highly touted prospect, Starlin Castro.
So far for Class AA Tennessee, Castro is slugging .545 with an on-base percentage of .391—all while averaging .364 in the second hole for the Smokies.
The Dominican national's success should be taken as an early bright spot for the Wrigley faithful, who of late, have been bombarded by trade rumors and pitching woes.
The shortstop position is clearly the weakest, and shallowest position on the Cubs' deep roster, and it greatly needs to be reinforced.
New replacements have proven to be successful for Chicago so far in only their seven games. In his first start of the season, Xavier Nady drove in three runs with one swing of the bat in the Cubs' win over the Brewers.
Castro should begin moving up through the organization soon, and should be playing in Chicago by late May or early June at the latest.
Such a strong asset needs to be utilized by the club, whether it decides to build up his trade value or lock him up for the entirety of his career.
Castro has proven himself throughout his career in the minor leagues, hitting .300 in all but one season with the organization.
In Spring Training this year, Castro hit .423 in his 26 at-bats, and along with Colvin, was on the verge of being added to the major league roster at the beginning of April.
After already gaining the support of his major league teammates, the only stop left for Starlin Castro is Chicago—and after that, it won't be long before Theriot will be competing for his meal ticket.