Anthony Rieber has been at Newsday since Aug. 31, 1998 and in his current position since 2004. Show More
In just two days, a Broadway show has opened in the Bronx.
Call it “A Starlin is Born.”
Starlin Castro, the Yankees’ new second baseman, went 4-for-5 with a three-run home run and five RBIs as the Yankees picked up their first win of the season, 16-6, over the Astros at Yankee Stadium.
In two games as a Yankee, Castro is 5-for-8 with two doubles, a home run and seven RBIs.
We’d have to check the stats, but that just about equals the total production the team got in 2014 from Brian Roberts and in 2015 from Stephen Drew.
That’s right. The Yankees’ last two Opening Day second basemen were Roberts (remember him?) and Drew (still trying to forget him?).
Now they have someone new — someone who set the record for most RBIs in his first two games as a Yankee and tied Babe Ruth, Yogi Berra and Tino Martinez for most RBIs in the first two games of a season.
“Nice pace that’s he on,” manager Joe Girardi said.
Wednesday night, Castro had an RBI single in the Yankees’ six-run first inning, a three-run homer in the second, a double in the sixth and a run-scoring single in the seventh.
“Starlin Castro is playing t-ball right now,” Carlos Beltran said.
For the first time since Robinson Cano left the Yankees for Seattle’s $240 million contract before the 2014 season, the Yankees actually have a chance to have an All-Star at second.
Castro, who only turned 26 last month, was a three-time All-Star with the Cubs as a shortstop. But he fell out of favor, was shifted to the bench and then second base, and finally became a Yankee in exchange for Adam Warren on Dec. 8.
Chicago was once Castro’s kind of town. Now, he has a chance to make it here, if he can make it anywhere, in New York, New York. (And a one, and a two . . . )
“I just want to be the player that I used to be,” Castro said. “To show everybody that I am a good player, that I can be a better player.”
Warren was a lot to give up, and the Yankees may rue his absence every time a lead slips away in the sixth inning or when they need a spot starter. But to get an everyday player heading into what should be his prime seasons was too good to pass up. And Castro is signed through 2020.
As a 20-year-old rookie in 2010, Castro had an MLB-record six RBIs in his first game. He had an NL-best 207 hits in his age-21 season. So he knows about early success. And the pitfalls that come along with it.
“He has been through a lot,” Girardi said. “He’s been through expectations and he’s been through being the guy at a very young age and having to move positions. He’s been through a lot so far in his career. Playing in a big city, he had to deal with a lot of different things.”
That could be why Girardi seems to be expressly turning down the pressure dial by batting Castro eighth. He’s no No. 8 hitter.
A few eyebrows were raised on Opening Day when Aaron Hicks hit second against lefthander Dallas Keuchel instead of Castro. As it turned out, it was Castro who smacked a two-run double off Keuchel to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead in their eventual 5-3 defeat.
Keuchel tossed 22 scoreless innings against the Yankees last season, including six in Houston’s 3-0 win in the AL wild-card game. Rob Refsnyder started at second in that game.
Refsnyder’s back in Triple-A, the off-Broadway of baseball. It’s Castro’s show now, and so far it’s a smash hit.