The Chicago Cubs were expected to suffer through a difficult season in 2012, but things with prize prospect Starlin Castro were supposed to get better. Concentration lapses against the San Francisco Giants have drawn manager Dale Sveum's attention for all the wrong reasons -- the gaffes included a botched steal attempt, failure to slide on a close play and allowing an extra run to cross the plate due to ignorance over how many outs the team still needed to end the inning -- and now Castro is under fire.
Sveum says Castro needs to shape up quickly or he may be headed to the bench, as he recently told Carrie Muskat of MLB.com:
"It's something that's obviously unacceptable at any time," Sveum said. "Whether we could have turned the double play is irrelevant to not knowing how many outs there are in the most important part of the game. These things have to stop happening or we're just going to stop playing [him]. These kind of things are things my son does in high school - maybe."
Did Sveum consider benching Castro [immediately following the botched double-play]?
"No," Sveum said. "I can't take him out. I'll have a good talking to him. It's the last straw. If he wants to play, he better start getting his head in the game, period."
Castro has since apologized to his team, but at this point he just needs to make sure there is less to apologize about in the future.