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.
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."
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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."