Starlin Castro enters 2019 season as veteran leader for young Marlins squad

Starlin Castro enters 2019 season as veteran leader for young Marlins squad

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Starlin Castro remains a veteran on a Miami Marlins‘ team that has gone with youth.

“I don’t try to put it in my mind because that’s one thing I can’t control,” Castro said. “The thing that I can control is being here every day and doing my job.”

Acquired in the December 2017 trade that sent Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees, Castro hit .278 with 12 homers and 54 RBIs last season.

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The four-time All-Star second baseman is owed $11 million this year in the final guaranteed season of a seven-year contract he signed with the Chicago Cubs, far more than most of his teammates on a club that shed Stanton, Dee Gordon, Marcel Ozuna, Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto.

Castro is among just five Marlins with more than five years of major league service, joined by infielders Martin Prado and Neil Walker and pitchers Wei-Yin Chen and Sergio Romo.

“He’s still here,” Miami shortstop J.T. Riddle said. “He’s a big contributor to our team. He’s always hit, always had a good glove, always been a good player.

Now 28, Castro has a .281 career average with 111 homers and 550 RBIs in nine major league seasons.

“I think he’s not a huge home run guy but he’s a guy that can hit, hits good pitching, and it takes a base hit to score the run,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

Castro started spring training 5 for 29 with 10 strikeouts.

“We don’t worry about his hitting other than getting himself a good pitch to hit and understanding what they are doing to him,” Mattingly said.


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