Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 6/5/12

Starlin Castro committed a major mental mistake on Monday that could put his playing time in jeopardy.

The Cubs shortstop forgot how many outs there were in the bottom of the 5th inning of the Giants-Cubs game in San Francisco. Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford was batting with the bases loaded, one out, and his team down 2-1. Crawford hit a grounder to second baseman Darwin Barney, who flipped to Castro for the force out at second. Though the Cubs got the force out, Castro began jogging toward the dugout with his head down like the inning had ended. Unfortunately, that was only the second out, and Castro didn’t even attempt to turn the double play that could have ended the inning.

Pitcher Jeff Samardzija struck out the next batter to end the inning, and then he let Castro hear it in the dugout.

Manager Dale Sveum was also disturbed by the mental gaffe. He said after the game Castro’s playing time was in jeopardy.

“It’s something that’s obviously unacceptable at any time, whether we turned the double play or not,” Sveum said. “It’s not acceptable. Those things have to stop happening or he’s going to stop playing.”

Though Castro is talented — he’s tied for second among all shortstops in baseball with 67 hits — his lack of focus is a repeat concern. You may recall that he was benched for this pathetic display last season. I understand that he’s only 20 years old, but this sort of nonsense has to stop.

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