Castro injury not series as Astros bolster depth
Looking to bolster their catching situation following a string of injuries, including a knee injury to starter Jason Castro, the Astros on Tuesday acquired Matt Pagnozzi from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for cash considerations.
Castro, who left Monday’s game with a sprained right knee, underwent an MRI on Tuesday that showed a cyst on the medial side of his right knee, which is the same knee on which he underwent surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament in 2011. General manager Jeff Luhnow said Castro is day-to-day.
“We’re breathing a sigh of relief on that,” he said. “It’s a lot better than it could have been.”
Pagnozzi was expected to be in uniform for Tuesday night’s game against the Twins after finishing up the season at Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday. He has appeared in 33 Major League games in his career with St. Louis (2009-10), Colorado (2011) and Pittsburgh (2011) and is a career .310 (22-for-71) hitter with 13 RBIs.
“I’ve got some history with him from my time in St. Louis and so does [catching instructor Jeff] Murphy,” Luhnow said. “He’s an excellent defensive catcher with time in the big leagues with a couple of different clubs, and it’s good fit for us for our catching depth.”
To make room for Pagnozzi on the 40-man roster, the Astros will transfer Edgar Gonzalez to the 60-day disabled list.
Castro, an All-Star this season and two-time American League Player of the Week, is having a career season, hitting .282 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs after going 2-for-2 with two RBIs on Monday. He suffered his injury running the bases in the first inning.
The Astros have two catchers on the seven-day concussion disabled list – Carlos Corporan and Max Stassi. Corporan was injured Aug. 19 when he took a foul ball of his facemask, and Stassi was hit in the head by a pitch two days later and hasn’t played since.
Luhnow said Corporan could see game action later this week.
“Corporan is further along than Stassi, and hopefully we’ll get Corporan into game situations later this week, either it’s with an affiliate or in Houston,” Luhnow said. “We’re feeling optimistic he’ll e back in competition later this week. Stassi has one more hurdle left and until he clears that milestone we’re in a holding pattern.”
Stassi has said in recent days he hasn’t been able to pass his balance tests.
Cody Clark, a 31-year-old who was called up Aug. 23 after 11 years in the Minor Leagues, replaced Castro and went 0-for-3 on Monday, dropping him to 0-for-13 for the season. The Astros didn’t call up a third catcher when rosters expanded. Their Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City and Double-A affiliate in Corpus Christi are both going to the playoffs.