Results tagged ‘ Hank Conger ’

Castro, Sipp, Conger avoid arbitration

The Astros reached one-year deals with catchers Jason Castro ($4 million) and Hank Conger ($1.075 million) and left-handed pitcher Tony Sipp ($2.4 million) prior to Friday’s deadline for arbitration eligible players to exchange numbers with their teams.

The club had previously reached deals with designated hitter Chris Carter ($4.175 million) and backup catcher Carlos Corporan ($975,000) this week, leaving them with two players still unsigned: outfielder Dexter Fowler and infielder Marwin Gonzalez.

Castro, who made $2.45 million last year, was arbitration eligible for the second time.

“It was right where we thought we wanted to be, where we kind of fit in with the market and all that,” Castro said. “We didn’t have a whole lot of conversations with the team prior to today, not as much as last year. The gap we were looking last year just wasn’t there this year and we had a more clear picture where’d end up.”

After making the All-Star team in 2013, Castro hit just .222 last year with 14 homers and 56 RBIs in a career-high 126 games. Sipp flourished after signing with the Astros in May, posting a 3.38 ERA in 56 games (50 2/3 innings).

Conger, traded to the Astros from the Angels in November, has played in 251 games with the Angels in the past five years in a backup role and will serve in a similar capacity behind Castro. Conger is a career .224 hitter who last season batted .221 with four homers and 25 RBIs in 80 games.

After the players and the teams exchange desired salary figures for 2015, they can continue to negotiate contracts. If no agreements are reached, the players and the teams will next month present their cases before an arbitration panel, which will choose either the team’s figure of the player’s desired salary. Most deals are reached prior to that, however.

Porter calls Scioscia to apologize

Astros manager Bo Porter called Angels manager Mike Scioscia on Saturday morning and apologized for an incident that occurred in Friday’s game.

In the sixth inning of the Angels’ 4-2 win, Astros outfielder Chris Carter hit a pop up in front of the Astros dugout. Angels catcher Hank Conger was camped under the ball at the dugout railing with first baseman Mark Trumbo charging in, but no one caught the ball. Conger charged with an error that was overturned after the official scorer learned someone had yelled something to Conger from the Houston dugout.

Porter acknowledged someone yelled at Conger, but he wouldn’t say if it came from a player or a coach or what exactly was said.

“It came from our dugout,” Porter said. “I called Mike this morning and he and I had a good conversation about it. I apologized to him on behalf of our ballclub. It’s nothing I condone, but I take full responsibility and it won’t happen again. It was handled the way it should be handled.”

Said Scioscia: “It’s nothing. I appreciate the call, and it’s not an issue. We’re not holding any grudges. We’ll go out and play like we do.”

Earlier this year, Porter apologized to Scioscia for inadvertently making an illegal pitching change, a move that led to the two-game suspension and fine of crew chief Fieldin Culbreth and fines for the rest of his crew.

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