Starlin adds to highlight reel with throw from knees

Starlin adds to highlight reel with throw from knees

CINCINNATI -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon has challenged his players to try to win Gold Gloves. Starlin Castro is taking that seriously.

In the sixth inning of Sunday's 5-2 win over the Reds, Castro made a play that needs to be included on his personal highlight reel. Brennan Boesch hit a ball to Castro's right that he made a backhanded grab on as he fell on the grass, then was able to throw from his knees to first in time to get the Reds' right fielder.

Castro is off to his best start defensively. He has made two errors in the first 17 games; he had four in the first month last year.

"That play, a backhand and sitting on his butt, throwing the guy out [was great]," Maddon said, "but the routine ground ball in the last at-bat, did you see him run to first base? That's outstanding."

Maddon's theme this year has been to "Respect 90" and hustle on every play. Castro led off the ninth and grounded out to the second baseman, but he ran hard down the line.

"That moment bleeds into the rest of your game," Maddon said. "Everything he's doing right now, I always believe in the complementary effects of everything we do. If there's a good baseball karma, he's created that by the way he's gone about his business. More than anything he did, I loved that [run in the ninth] today."

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.