Castro has five hits in nine at-bats through two games batting second in the order. He has also scored three of the Cubs’ eight runs. With Tyler Colvin starting in right field for Kosuke Fukudome, who will usually bat leadoff against right-handers, Quade decided to insert Castro at the top of the lineup.
“I looked at the mix of guys I wanted to play today, [Fukudome] wasn’t in the lineup, and as I’ve said repeatedly all spring long, [Castro] has really been something,” Quade said, “We’ll see how it goes.”
Quade isn’t sure where Castro will settle into the lineup all season, but he expects he’ll always be somewhere at the top of the lineup.
“He’s got the ability to be a real special player,” Quade said. “If he reaches his potential then why not [hit him in the three hole] someday.”
Quade talked to hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo and Castro before making the decision.
“As long as [Castro] understands that I’m not interested in him changing anything he does just because he’s one instead of two, he should have his best chance to succeed,” Quade said. “But I don’t see [hitting him lead-off] necessarily as a regular thing.”
Castro has led off one time before in his career, going 0-4 in an early August game against the Cincinnati Reds.
1. Castro, SS
2. Darwin Barney, 2B
3. Marlon Byrd, CF
4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
5. Carlos Pena, 1B
6. Geovany Soto, C
7. Alfonso Soriano, LF
8. Colvin, RF
9. Matt Garza, P