The nightmare that has been the 2013 season continued Saturday for Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro as he was benched mid-game by manager Dale Sveum.

With the bases loaded in the top of the fifth Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter lifted a soft pop up into shallow left field behind third base. Castro made his was over to the ball and secured the catch. During the process an infield fly call was made by the umpiring crew. After catching the ball Castro's head dropped and he took a few steps slowly toward the left field line with the ball not paying attention to any baserunners. And Jon Jay noticed tagging up and scoring from third.

After the conclusion of the half-inning the TV broadcast caught a shot of Castro entering the dugout only to be met by Sveum. Sveum appeared to say very few words but he looked rather stern and finished his words by signaling Castro to leave. And Castro did heading down into the clubhouse.

Cody Ransom replaced Castro at short but that's ancillary to the real matter at hand.

Castro 23 is a two-time All-Star who led the NL in hits in 2011 at just 21 years old. This season however he's hitting just .244/.278/.345. He's walked 19 times and struck out 100. It's been a major regression to say the least. Now on top of that he's under fire again for a mental lapse on defense.

How Castro responds to being benched is extremely important for the Cubs' rebuilding effort. They are eyeing the 2015-16 range to return to contention. Castro is signed through 2019 and is still considered a major part of the future core. If he handles this professionally there's still plenty of hope for him to play well the rest of the year and make good on his big upside. Remember he entered the season with a career slash line of .297/.336/.425 and had been steadily increasing his power production.