"The game reveals it for you."
Joe Maddon was discussing the X's and O's of how he can work in defensive replacements with his new offensive-minded starting lineup, but that line can also apply to Starlin Castro's future with the Cubs. The game reveals it for you.
Nobody knows what the future holds for the Cubs or Castro, but it will all eventually work itself out. Right now, the team insists the recent benching doesn't change the 25-year-old's status with the franchise.
"No, not at all," Cubs president Theo Epstein said Friday. "He's a big part of what we have going here. A 25-year-old, three-time All-Star who has been the shortstop on a playoff-worthy team (as of right now).
"Certainly, we think he'll play better baseball going forward than he has the last four months and a week."
Despite that impressive resume and a relatively reasonable contract that keeps him under club control through the 2020 season, Castro has found himself in trade rumors, especially before the non-waiver deadline last month.
With Addison Russell's emergence at age 21, Castro needed a solid season to maintain his hold on the shortstop position, but instead carries a .575 OPS, the worst mark among all big-league shortstops.
Castro's struggles have left the Cubs baffled.
"Yeah, of course [it's puzzling]," Epstein said. "A 25-year-old, for as talented as he is, usually gets better and puts up good seasons.
"He's shown some streakiness in his career. Even within the course of a good season, he'll have a couple months where he's not performing well and then he'll get really hot. And we've benefitted from that hot streak.
"But it's just a year that he hasn't really gotten comfortable at the plate for whatever reason. I think maybe this will help him - a little bit of time off, a little bit different look out there on the field and maybe Joe can put him in a position to find it and get hot."
The Cubs initially moved Russell to second base before his promotion to the big leagues, but with Castro's struggles, the rookie is back at his natural position, where he's always envisioned himself playing.
"I've been playing [shortstop] ever since I was a little kid and all my dreams are coming true," Russell said. "That's great and all, but I just want to help out the team now that I'm in the big leagues. Wherever they need me, I'm going to try to get the job done."
Castro said nobody from the Cubs has talked to him yet about possibly switching positions, but Maddon said they have started internal discussions about different possibilities.
Right now, the Cubs just want Castro to get back to the player he is capable of being instead of trying to add more to his plate.
"Maybe a little break, a little rebooting can help," Maddon said. "I really like this kid a lot and I want to see it work out for him and for us."
Epstein thinks moving Coghlan to the infield could be a blessing in disguise for the Cubs, freeing Maddon up to give the rookies a day off here or there and keep them fresh for the stretch run.
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"It's going to finally allow Joe to get a little bit more rest for the [Kris] Bryants and Russells of the world, guys who have never played a six-month season before," Epstein said.
"And then for Starlin, too. It's going to give him days off that will hopefully allow him to find it."
Castro said he is trying not to focus on the future and stay positive, but also admitted he wouldn't mind having a conversation with Epstein's front office if there was the possibility of a position or role change.
"Yeah, if I have a chance to talk to them, I will," Castro said. "Whatever they can do, they know why they do it and they know what is best for me and the other players.
"Whatever decision they make, I'm in."