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Castro's play frustrates Sveum

Two-time All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro will not be attending this year’s Midsummer Classic in New York. A disappointing first half has been frustrating for the player and his coaches.

Castro was hitting .236 with four home runs and 26 RBIs before Saturday's game.

Poor decisions on the basepaths and some defensive malfunctions have put Castro under the microscope in the past week.

"You do your best, and we all do our coaching," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “Like I said a few weeks ago, when you get to this level and you have played four years, a lot of it is just left up to the player."

Although teammates made numerous other gaffes, a baserunning mistake stood out Friday when Castro was picked off at second base with the Cubs trailing by three runs. Some questioned whether the Dominican infielder was hustling all out when he was thrown out at the plate in a 1-0 loss to Oakland on Thursday.

Much of the negative concentration has been brought on Castro since he signed a seven-year, $60 million contract late last summer.

“There is a frustration level there sometimes," Sveum said. “You talk and you talk, and then you see the same mistakes. I think [his] concentration level is better, but there is still a time clock that has to get better.”

According to a source, Castro was tested a couple of years ago for attention deficit disorder without any detection of a problem. Castro also said he wears contact lenses and has for a while. When asked if he gets his eyes checked on a regular basis, he responded, “I am disappointed in my situation and not being an All-Star player this season. I have been continuing to play hard. I have made some mistakes, but everybody makes them sometimes. The important thing is that when I make a mistake, I learn from it and it doesn’t happen again.”

Castro is human and certainly hears the critics and negative fan reaction from time to time. The 23-year-old Cub insists he is getting excellent support from Sveum and his staff.

"They are very good with me," he said. “They are very positive with the hitting instruction and are always there for me to talk. That is the type of hitting coach you want, not someone who is going to yell at you because you're making outs.

"J-Ro [hitting coach James Rowson] talks to me every day about positive things. He understands that you are not going to do things perfect every time.”

Castro believes he will turn his season around soon.

“I really feel the same at the plate that I have in other seasons," he said. "I hope things change, but all I can do is work hard and keep trying to help my team win.”