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Castillo turning heads with improved overall play

ST. LOUIS -- Welington Castillo has impressed the Cubs with his defensive play. On Saturday, he came through at the plate.

Castillo hit a solo home run and added a sacrifice fly in the Cubs' 6-5 win over the Cardinals. He's now batting .421 with six RBIs in his last 14 games, and has walked 10 times, including two free passes Saturday, compared to six strikeouts in that stretch.

"Welly's doing well," Chicago second baseman Darwin Barney said. "There's been a lot of growth in him this year. As he gets better back there, there's no better guy for blocking and throwing than Welington Castillo. It's the full package."

The young catcher has impressed Cubs manager Dale Sveum with his development this season.

"I think he's proven to everyone that he's a frontline defensive catcher," Sveum said of Castillo, who took over as the regular this season. "He can be a good hitter, and you're seeing that starting to develop.

"We throw a lot at that kid and he's come a long ways calling plays," Sveum said. "There's nobody better blocking the ball than he is. We know he can throw. The way he calls games, there's no question he's a frontline catcher."

Castillo's .421 average since July 25 ranks first among big league catchers and fifth overall in the Majors.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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