Already a three-time All-Star entering his age-26 season, Starlin Castro was shipped away from the Cubs following a disappointing 2015 season and the emergence of young middle infield depth that made him disposable. Playing full time at second base for the first time, he socked a career-best 21 home runs in his first year in the Bronx and hit .270, but it wasn't all good for Castro. He continued to walk at a very low clip and saw his contact rate slip below 80 percent for the first time. Further, the speed element of his game that led to at least 20 steals in two of his first three seasons has all but disappeared, as he only attempted four steals in 2016. Nevertheless, his first season with the Yankees marked an improvement overall and he ultimately raised his OPS over 60 points from the year before to .733.
Castro is out of Sunday's lineup against the Orioles. Over the last seven games, Castro has gone just 3-for-17 (.176). The Yankees will opt to start Donovan Solano at second base over Castro for their series finale.
Castro is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Orioles. Castro tallied two hits in Thursday's game and is 16-for-45 (.356) in his career against Orioles starter Yovani Gallardo, so it comes as a surprise that he is being held out Friday with Gallardo on the mound for the opponent. Regardless of the reason Castro is being held out, Ronald Torreyes will get the start at second base Friday night.
Castro went 2-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI in Thursday's 4-2 win over the Red Sox. Castro delivered out of the cleanup spot, knocking in his first runs since Sept. 15. He surpassed last season's total of 69 RBI with this effort, but is still eight short of his career high set back in 2012. The 26-year-old has performed right in line with expectations during his first season with the Yankees.
Castro (hamstring) is back in the lineup Tuesday, hitting cleanup and manning the keystone. He made a pinch hit appearance Monday after missing the previous seven games with the injury, so it's no surprise to see him return in full Tuesday. Castro has hit a career-high 21 homers in his first year in the Bronx, so his owners have to be satisfied with his production. However, a .304 OBP and subpar defense at second base (according to Fangraphs), may leave the Yankees wishing for more production at the position if Castro doesn't show improvement in those areas next season.
Castro (hamstring) was able to take batting practice on the field prior to Saturday's game against the Blue Jays, LoHud.com reports. Manager Joe Girardi had previously indicated it was unlikely Castro would return during the weekend set, and while that outlook may still hold true, it's an encouraging sign that the second baseman was able to hit on the field after he was also able to take swings in a cage Friday. If he does indeed remain out for the remainder of the Toronto series, Castro's next chance to slot back into the lineup will come Monday against the Red Sox.