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Monday, February 26, 2018

Starlin Castro is now the Face of the Marlins

Por Jack Leyva

Starlin Castro lived the rollercoaster of emotions of the New York Yankees last playoffs. He enjoyed with the Bronx Bombers, which, far away from the disappointing loss against the Houston Astros, felt that they could fight for the title in 2018. However, things changed drastically for the Dominican, who now faces the big challenge of leading the Miami Marlins, his new team after the Yankees included him in the trading package for Giancarlo Stanton.

Castro will be a starter second base at the top of the line-up, which will include for sure the utility Martin Prado and the catcher TJ Realmuto, other experienced players in a team that lacks it. The Dominican second base, four times All-Star player in eight seasons in the MLB, will go back to a team that needs mending, a fact that is not new to him. He started his career with the Chicago Cubs in 2010, when the team was facing an important reconstruction process that finally got them to win the World Series in 2016.

With the Cubs, he lived five negative campaigns, including one with more than 100 losses. According to the forecasts, the Marlins will exceed that number in the year of 2018 that brings lots of uncertainty. Without definite roles in most of the positions, and with all the absences due to the many players that have left, the franchise counts on Starlin to be the next leader and face of the selection. This will mean that the Dominican, who missed 50 games in 2017, will have to work in the field and in a clubhouse full of new faces, inexperienced young players that have never played at such high levels.

According to the projections of Baseball Reference, Castro should not surpass the 16 home runs and the 62 RBI, although probably his amount of At Bats and games will increase significantly. For Starlin, the most important thing will be to fulfill his job and to fight, no matter if he is doing it with a team in the midst of a reconstruction process, or in one that is planning to take on the World Series. “The premise of a good professional is to work hard”, said Castro to the Marlin fans at the Fan Fest last week, in which he showed his commitment to help his new team in this endeavor. Miami will have its debut in New York against the Mets, but before that, he could have a glimpse of his renovated team during the season, in which we will have the first peek of their potential.