Starlin Castro

Today we’ll look at ex-Cubbies where are they now featuring Starlin Castro.  We posted an article at the end of the 2014 season suggesting that the Cubs trade him.   After the 2015 season the Cubs traded him to the Yankees because they had too many shortstops with Russell and Baez.  Let’s start by looking at Castro’s career so far.

Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos Rank
2010 -2.1 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS -113-
2011 -0.1 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS XXXXX
2012 -0.3 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS XXXXX
2013 -5.2 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS -010-
2014 0.4 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS XXXXX
2015 -0.4 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS-2B XXXXX
2016 -1.0 Starlin_Castro_NYA 2B XXXXX
2017 2.4 Starlin_Castro_NYA 2B +051+
Total -6.3

He had his worst year in 2013 because the Cubs’ manager at the time kept leading him off using the keep doing the same thing over expecting different results strategy.  Even WAR had him at -0.6 and they rarely give out negatives.  Although he hit 0.300 in 2010 his run production was sub par.   MLB doesn’t care who has the most total bases, hits, strikeouts, home runs, etc. they only give wins to the team with the most runs each game.  The Cubs lost 96 games in 2013, or 30 games under 0.500, and Starlin Castro represented 5.2 of those losses.

Discerning numbers and trying to predict the future is like reading tea leaves since despite what you read on Fangraphs, no one can predict the future.  All predictive stats are BS.  Castro struggled with the Yankees in 2016 and is having a career year so far ranked #51 and the Yankees are winning because of him.  WAR has him ranked #74 so we’re more or less in agreement.   Let’s look at NYA.

52.3 47.0 402 306 40 32 -6.1 0.8 NYA

A balanced BAT and PITCH, both well above average.  At 40-32 they’re 8 games above average.  I read they’re suffering a losing streak now.  Their UR is bad.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+003+ 5.19 Aaron_Judge_NYA RF
+048+ 2.44 Luis_Severino_NYA PITCH
+051+ 2.39 Starlin_Castro_NYA 2B
+054+ 2.37 Gary_Sanchez_NYA CR
+069+ 2.08 Aaron_Hicks_NYA CF-LF
+089+ 1.81 Michael_Pineda_NYA PITCH
+090+ 1.81 CC_Sabathia_NYA PITCH
+091+ 1.81 Matt_Holliday_NYA DH
+093+ 1.81 Dellin_Betances_NYA PITCH
+103+ 1.70 Adam_Warren_NYA PITCH

Lots of good players on NYA and Castro is almost tied for second best as of now.  For some freak reason 4 of their guys are tied at 1.81 which made me check for bugs in the code that makes these tables (it’s not a bug).  Adam Warren fills out the bottom of this list at #103.  He was the pitcher the Cubs acquired in the Castro trade and now NYA has him back.  He didn’t pitch so well for the Cubs last year.

Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos Rank
2012 -1.1 Adam_Warren_NYA PITCH XXXXX
2013 0.9 Adam_Warren_NYA PITCH XXXXX
2014 1.4 Adam_Warren_NYA PITCH XXXXX
2015 2.0 Adam_Warren_NYA PITCH +163+
2016 -1.4 Adam_Warren_CHN PITCH XXXXX
2016 0.7 Adam_Warren_NYA PITCH XXXXX
2017 1.7 Adam_Warren_NYA PITCH +103+
Total 4.2

Theo and Jed made a good decision with this trade with the information they had at the time.  For some reason Warren didn’t like Chicago or was homesick.  Who knows?  Bottom line is the Yankees might have gotten Castro for nothing and turned him into a decent run producer.

Or did they?  Here is a season scan of Castro at the end of the 2015 season.

Date WAA Name_TeamID Pos
08232015 -1.81 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS
08272015 -1.97 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS
08312015 -1.91 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS-2B
09052015 -2.08 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS-2B
09102015 -2.29 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS-2B
09142015 -1.39 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS-2B
09182015 -1.51 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS-2B
09222015 -0.73 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS-2B
09252015 -0.53 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS-2B
09282015 -0.71 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS-2B
10012015 -0.65 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS-2B
10062015 -0.36 Starlin_Castro_CHN SS-2B

This scan starts at 8/23/2015 and goes to the end of the year.  This is around the time Maddon made Castro play second base and all of a sudden he starts hitting.  At the 9/10 sample he’s at WAA=-2.29 and he finishes the year at -0.36.  Castro gained almost +2 WAA in less than a month in September.  He plowed through the Cardinals and was a significant force securing the second wild card spot.  It is that Starlin Castro who is playing for the Yankees right now.

A baseball season is a marathon and we aren’t even half way through it.  WAA goes down just as easily as it goes up so we’ll revisit Starlin at the end of the season.  I’m happy for him and still think the trade was appropriate since Russell played a significant role helping the Cubs win a World Series.  And that’s all that matters.

Tomorrow new series matchup with WAS and it won’t be pretty.  WAS is a top tier MLB team.  We’ll do All Star Picks one day during that series.   Until then….