DETROIT — Starlin Castro seems to have rediscovered the form that made him a three-time All-Star by the time he was 24.
The Yankees’ new second baseman went 2-for-4 Saturday, with his seventh-inning single giving him 1,000 career hits at the age of 26.
“That’s an awful lot of hits for a person that age,” Joe Girardi said. “And he’s been really impressive so far for us. I thought he was impressive in spring training and it’s just carried over.”
Castro said he has bigger goals in mind.
“One thousand hits feels good, I feel excited, but I came to New York to win a championship,” he said. “That’s the greatest thing for me.”
Five games into his Yankees career, Castro has a .450/.476/.850 slash line along with solid, occasionally spectacular defense at second base.
“So impressive,” Alex Rodriguez said. “ . . . I know he’s very excited about the 1,000 hits, but he’s also most excited about trying to win a championship here.”
Girardi down on slide rule
Girardi already would like to see a change to one of baseball’s newest rules, and he no doubt would find agreement from Astros manager A.J. Hinch and Blue Jays manager John Gibbons.
Two games within a span of five days ended with the application of baseball’s new slide rule, which prohibits a runner from going out of his way to make contact with a middle infielder taking a throw or attempting to make one. First came the Blue Jays-Rays contest Tuesday, won by the Rays, and then Friday night’s Astros-Brewers game, won by the Brewers.
“I’ve got a call in already,” Girardi said of one he made to Joe Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer.
Girardi’s main objection to the rule is leaving the intent of the sliding runner up to the umpires, whether it be the one on the field who makes the initial call or those in New York making a call via replay.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of confusion in the beginning,” he said, adding that he thinks middle infielders now might be in even more danger.
That’s because the “neighborhood play” now is subject to review, meaning a fielder has to touch the bag with a runner bearing down, which was not always the case.
Castro disagreed. “Now the runner doesn’t slide like they used to,” he said. “Now they just slide on the base. We have time to touch the base and get out of the way and he doesn’t go and find you.”
Chase Headley was given the day off, with Ronald Torreyes getting his first start of the season. Torreyes went 3-for-4 and is 4-for-5 this season . . . Brett Gardner went 2-for-4 and has a .500 OBP five games in.