Amid rumors, day off, Castro meets with Maddon

Amid rumors, day off, Castro meets with Maddon

CHICAGO -- Starlin Castro, puzzled after being pulled from a game in a double switch, met with Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who assured the shortstop that he wasn't being traded.

Castro was lifted in the seventh inning on Tuesday night, and then told he wasn't starting on Wednesday. The shortstop wanted -- and got -- an explanation.

"I just asked him, 'Why did you take me out of the game?'" Castro said Wednesday, sitting in the dugout prior to the Cubs game against the Rockies. "He said, 'It's nothing serious. We wanted to put [Chris] Coghlan in the game.' I didn't want the day off [Wednesday], and he told me, 'Take it, relax, we want you here, you're not going nowhere.'"

Castro's name has been mentioned in trade rumors, and the shortstop says he's tried to ignore the talk. He didn't ask Maddon if he was going to be moved by Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"No, he did not [ask]," Maddon said. "I said, 'Listen, you're not getting traded. Just relax and play and don't worry about this stuff.'"

"It's difficult sometimes," Castro said. "We're not supposed to think about this. Sometimes, when we're not doing good, those kind of rumors run in your mind. It's not supposed to. I felt free to go talk to him. I said, 'The season's not over yet, I'm not putting my head down. I'm going to keep working hard to help my team win. I want to be here, I want to stay here.'"

It's been a difficult season for Castro, a three-time All-Star, who was batting .163 in July and .237 overall.

"It's really tough," Castro said. "Like I say all the time, my swing doesn't go away. I feel healthy. I know things are going to change. I've been through this before and I know how it feels. There's still two months of the season and I think I can finish strong."

The problem isn't that Castro is working with his fifth hitting coach in the last five seasons. He's making adjustments with his mechanics, and that's taking some time.

"I'm going to do it on my own -- and they'll help me, too," Castro said of getting back on track offensively.

Maddon said they had a good conversation and hoped Castro could relax.

"The kid's a Cub, he's made his mark here, he's got 1,000 hits here almost," Maddon said. "He's 25. I think people fail to rememeber that he's really young. To process this whole thing is not easy sometimes. We think it is but it's not. Cut him a little slack there, and I do, and we talk. I really like this kid a lot. I think he's outstanding."

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