Padres Rumors: Is Starlin Castro the Answer for Padres at Shortstop?

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Courtesy: Getty Images
Courtesy: Getty Images

The San Diego Padres have increased their credibility with all the offensive upgrades they made this off-season. The teams outfield consisting of Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Wil Myers is arguably one of the best in the league. Those three are expected to provide a lot of offensive fire power to a team that was lacking any kind of offense last year. All though A.J. Preller has addressed many needs on the Padres, he has not found a replacement for Alexi Amarista.

Amarista is only 25 and I’m sure Preller believes in him, to a certain degree. You can not however ignore the fact that Amarista lacks the on base percentage and average needed to start everyday. If a suitable upgrade was found, then the Padres were most surely not hesitate to explore the option. Starlin Castro has reportedly fallen out of favor with the Chicago Cubs and his name is being floated out there as a possible upgrade for the Padres.

The fact that Castro is available is a red flag in itself. He is only 25 years old and a 5 year veteran of the Major Leagues. Castro made his debut at the age of 20 during the 2010 season. He went on to finish 5th in rookie of the year voting, with a .300 batting average in 463 at bats. He owns a career average of .284 with 51 homers and 294 runs batted in. Castro has played in 741 games and has proved to be fairly durable in his young career. Castro started 158, 162 and 161 games from 2011-2013. He only played in 134 games last season due to an ankle injury in September that ended his season.

His numbers as a shortstop do show he has increased his fielding every year. As a rookie in 2010 Castro had 27 errors in 183 put outs. That gave him a .950 fielding percentage. The league average for 2010 was .971 for fielding percentage at shortstop. This past season Castro committed 15 errors in 148 put outs. That gave him a .973 fielding percentage, just off the league average of .975. Castro is at best an average shortstop defensively. That is quite evident.

He is an offensive shortstop for sure and an upgrade over the Amarista/Clint Barmes combo, but chemistry should be a deciding factor on if the Padres should explore adding him to the team. Castro this past off-season was involved in a shooting in the Domincan Republic. He was not involved directly in the incident but it is the second incident in which the shortstop was involved with the law. He was in 2012, involved in a sexual-assault investigation. Castro was later cleared of all potential charges, but still troubling to see the young man linked to such acts.

It is clear Castro has some growing up to do. It’s not that unusual for a young player to be a little immature. He has not done anything to taint his name highly, but these little issues make a potential deal risky.

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