Two years ago, a Starlin was born

Two years ago, a Starlin was born

CHICAGO -- Monday marked the two-year anniversary of when Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro made his Major League debut at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. On May 7, 2010, Castro went 2-for-5 in that game, hitting a three-run homer in his first plate appearance. Castro added a three-run triple that game, and his six RBIs were the most recorded by a player in his first career appearance.

"Hopefully, he can repeat that," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Monday. "It's kind of a legendary debut. Hopefully, he can do that tonight, too."

In his first two calendar years of big league play, Castro has hit .308 with 73 doubles, 16 triples, 14 homers and 125 RBIs in 311 games.

"The guy can hit," Sveum said of the 22-year-old infielder. "It's just a learning curve now, situational hitting, men in scoring position, and know what the pitcher is going to give you and prepare for that and understand what the pitcher is going to do in certain situations. I think that's his biggest learning curve.

"He's always going to hit. He's got the mechanics and the hand-eye coordination to hit. The important part is with runners in scoring position and the big hits and later in the inning, and later in the game when you're facing velocity and stuff and all that, and understanding what those pitchers are going to do to you."

Since making his debut, Castro ranks fourth in the Majors with 385 hits, trailing the Rangers' Michael Young, the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki and the Red Sox's Adrian Gonzalez.