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Castillo, Navarro face tough test with Reds' speed

Castillo, Navarro face tough test with Reds' speed

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Castillo, Navarro face tough test with Reds' speed

CHICAGO -- Welington Castillo and Dioner Navarro will likely be tested in the next three days as they face the Reds and speedster Billy Hamilton.

"There's one thing you learn about speed like that is the more you try to stop it, the more bad pitches you throw," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said about dealing with someone like Hamilton. "You don't really stop that kind of speed, otherwise people would've stopped it. If you want to keep slide stepping or if you want to keep holding or if you want to keep throwing over, the next thing you know, you give up the two-run homer or three-run homer because you're so worried about something that's 99 percent chance going to happen anyway."

Castillo ranks 23rd in the National League in caught stealing percentage combined with the pitchers, but he is fifth in the NL in runners caught stealing (19). Navarro is tied for 15th, having thrown out nine base stealers.

While Hamilton will try to aggravate the pitchers, it's up to Castillo and Navarro to keep them focused. The two catchers have combined to catch every inning for the Cubs this year, and they are one of three pairs of Major League backstops to do that this year. The Angels' duo of Chris Iannetta and Hank Conger and the Rays' Jose Molina and Jose Lobaton also have caught all of their respective team's games.

Last season, the Cubs used six catchers: Castillo, Steve Clevenger, Koyie Hill, Blake Lalli, Anthony Recker and Geovany Soto.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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