Cubs

Maddon: Castro creating 'good baseball karma' for himself

starlin-castro-creating-good-baseball-karma.png

Maddon: Castro creating 'good baseball karma' for himself

CINCINNATI — Starlin Castro respects 90.

The Cubs' All-Star shortstop is in the midst of another very good season, playing at a high level on a winning team for the first time in his career.

Castro is hitting .329 and has played a solid shortstop, including some highlight-reel plays of late. He had another "Web Gem" Sunday afternoon, diving to his right and making a throw from his knees to get Reds outfielder Brennan Boesch in the sixth inning.

[MORE: Jake Arrieta refuses to cave in, sets tone for Cubs]

But it actually was Castro's groundout in the ninth that really impressed manager Joe Maddon.

"How 'bout it?" Maddon said in reference to the spectacular play in the field. "And then even more so, the routine ground ball in his last AB, ran down to first base — that was outstanding. That moment bleeds into the rest of your game.

"Everything he's doing right now, I always believe in the complimentary effects of everything that we do. And if there's good baseball karma, he's created that for himself right now by the way he's gone about that business.

"More than anything he did, I loved that [running down the line] today."

[NBC SHOP: Buy a Starlin Castro jersey]

Castro has refused to look over his shoulder with the promotion of Addison Russell, who was shifted over to second base. 

Castro fully intends to stick at shortstop and has worked well with Russell at second, including a slick double play in Friday's game. Russell also had a highlight-reel play of his own, diving to his right and throwing out speed demon Billy Hamilton in Friday's win.

"I know he's a good defender, so the plays that he can make, he's going to make," Russell said of Castro. "The outstanding plays that we both make, that just comes with our ability. I think we both try to challenge ourselves."

Cubs Talk Podcast: Anthony Rizzo injury update

Cubs Talk Podcast: Anthony Rizzo injury update

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Anthony Rizzo talks about his ankle sprain, Theo Epstein reacts to the injury and Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan and Tony Andracki discuss how the Cubs will fill the void in the lineup.

01:00 - How Rizzo is doing a day after the injury

03:30 - Anthony Rizzo discusses his injury

06:00 - Will we see Rizzo again in the regular season?

08:00 - Theo Epstein discusses Rizzo's injury

10:00 - Who will play first base in Rizzo's absence?

12:00 - Need to continue the offensive surge

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

Cubs Talk Podcast

Subscribe:

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.

MRI reveals Anthony Rizzo has lateral right ankle sprain, will require walking boot for 5-7 days

MRI reveals Anthony Rizzo has lateral right ankle sprain, will require walking boot for 5-7 days

The Cubs will be without their star first baseman for their last four home games in 2019, at the least.

An MRI revealed that first baseman Anthony Rizzo has a lateral right ankle sprain, the Cubs announced Monday. Although the team is calling it a "moderate" sprain, Rizzo will be in a walking boot for the next 5-7 days before the Cubs establish a timeline for his return.

Rizzo, who exited Sunday's game against the Pirates in the third inning, said he isn't ruling out a return this season, though the Cubs will know more about his status in the near future.

In the short-term, Rizzo will definitely miss this weekend's four-game series against the Cardinals, which will have huge implications on the Cubs' playoff positioning. Entering Monday's game against the Reds, the Cubs sit just two games back of St. Louis for first place in the NL Central and 1.5 games behind the Nationals for the NL's top Wild Card spot.

The Cardinals and Nationals open a three-game set on Monday in St. Louis.

Rizzo's injury comes just days after the Cubs moved him to the leadoff spot. Although they were playing the sub-.500 Padres and Pirates, the Cubs went 4-0 with Rizzo at the top of the lineup, scoring a whopping 47 runs in three games against Pittsburgh. 

If he is unable to return this season, Rizzo will finish with a .289/.404/.516 line (.920 OPS), with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs. The Cubs now find themselves without shortstop Javier Báez (thumb - out for regular season), infielder Addison Russell (concussion IL) and closer Craig Kimbrel (elbow), in addition to Rizzo. However, Russell took batting practice Monday and Kimbrel will throw a simulated game on Tuesday, positive steps in their respective recoveries.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.