Chicago Cubs' star shortstop Starlin Castro may be done for the season after sustaining a high-ankle sprain in last night's game. High-ankle sprains generally carry a recovery time of at least four weeks, so, as Cubs' gm Jed Hoyer tells CSNChicago.com's Patrick Mooney, it is expected to end his season.
Castro injured himself during the first inning of Chicago's 7-1 victory over the Brewers last night. Scoring from second on a Jorge Soler single, Castro bent his left ankle sliding into home, and was immediately replaced by Javier Baez.
After an extremely disappointing 2013 season that saw him hit just .245/.284/.347, Castro has been stellar this season, earning an All-Star nod and emerging as a possible cornerstone for the next great Cubs team, or a valuable trade chip considering the organization's well-stocked cupboard of infielders. In 528 plate appearances, the 24-year-old Castro has hit .292/.339/.438 with a 115 wRC+, 2.7 WAR, and career-high 14 home runs. Castro signed a seven-year, $60 million extension with the Cubs just two years ago, so he is highly affordable in addition to being quite talented.
Castro joins All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo on the shelf for the Cubs, meaning the team's top two players may not play again until next season. Rizzo is currently dealing with a lower-back strain that has led to him being shut down for the time being.
The 21-year-old Baez was only recently called up to the Cubs after emerging as one of the top prospects in baseball. A shortstop by nature, Baez has been spending time at second base in the majors due to Castro's presence, so he will likely be the one to shift over to short while Castro is out. Baez has struggled in his first taste of the major leagues, hitting just .175/.208/.383 with 7 home runs and 51 strikeouts in 125 plate appearances.