No rest for slumping Cubs All-Star Castro

ATLANTA -- So much for that concept that Starlin Castro has the ability to turn it on when his batting average dips under the .300 mark.

Castro has been in a free fall of late as the All-Star has watched his batting average drop from .308 on June 23 to its current .287 mark after an 0-for-4 performance Thursday, and a 2-for-16 four-game series at Atlanta.

Manager Dale Sveum said he considered a day off for his shortstop, who has started every game this season, but changed his mind.

“I was thinking about it and then the break’s coming up and we’re playing well and the defense is coming into play way more than the offense,” Sveum said. “That defense is saving us a lot of runs right now, too.”

Sveum had said on multiple occasions this season that some players have a knack for pushing their batting average back over .300 and suggested that Castro was one of those guys.

After all, the Cubs’ young star had his batting average slip to .291 on June 16 only to deliver six hits in two days to get it back over the .300 mark again.

Castro is just 5-for-39 on his current slide, though. He figures to play the three games in New York and then get the All-Star break to rest although he will still have to go to Kansas City for the All-Star Game and play a couple of innings Tuesday.

He should be fresh for the second half, but Sveum will watch his 22-year-old player, who seemed to be flexing a sore left knee in the late innings Thursday.

“You’ll see it in people’s faces more than their performance sometimes,” Sveum said about players being tired. “But when you have a defense that’s playing as well as ours you don’t want to do anything like that right now. We’re just playing too good right now to think about that.”