Results tagged ‘ Jason Castro ’
The Astros have come to grips with losing shortstop Jed Lowrie for four to six weeks with an injury to a nerve in his right leg, but they are still unsure how long starting catcher Jason Castro will be sidelined.
Castro, who was placed on the disabled list Sunday with what the team is calling right knee effusion, had the knee drained and endured a pain-killing injection Wednesday in Houston and said he hopes to be able to come off the disabled list next week.
“A pretty significant amount of fluid came out and it looked like they made a pretty successful draining of it,” Castro said via phone from Houston. “I had a shot in there and hopefully in the next few days it starts to really feel better and I’m able to get back to being a lot more active and get more aggressive movements and see how it feels from there.”
Castro, who missed all of last season after undergoing surgery on the ACL in his right knee, was hitting .254 with two homers and 20 RBIs in 20 games. As of right now, the Astros aren’t considering having another surgery to help repair the knee, Castro said.
“The reason why we took the route we did of draining and giving the shot is so I can try to play the rest of the year and push that back and avoid having to miss anymore time,” Castro said. “If that’s something that comes up later, we’ll deal with it then.”
Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie will probably be out four-to-six weeks with a nerve injury in his right leg, general manager Jeff Luhnow said Tuesday.
Lowrie, who leads the team with 14 home runs, injured the leg and sprained his right ankle during a play at second base Saturday in San Francisco and was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday. He was examined by team doctors on Tuesday in Houston.
Luhnow said Lowrie will be on crutches and will have to wear a protective boot for a week before being re-evaluated. Lowrie was hitting .253 with a club-best 14 homers and 36 RBIs through 80 games and losing him is a big blow to an Astros team that had batted just .201 in his previous 15 games before Tuesday.
“We’re going to have to think about how to cover his at-bats and innings out there,” Luhnow said.
Marwin Gonzalez, a Rule 5 pick last December, will get most of the playing time at shortstop for now, but Luhnow hasn’t ruled out going outside the organization for shortstop help.
“He’s done a good job and we’re certainly thankful we have him, but we need to consider other options, whether it’s bringing up somebody else from Triple-A or looking outside the organization,” Luhnow said. “At this point it could go faster, but four-to-six is what we’re expecting.”
Meanwhile, catcher Jason Castro, who was also played on the disabled list on Sunday (backdated to July 8), had his ailing right knee examined Tuesday in Houston. Astros manager Brad Mills said Castro has some meniscus damage, but Luhnow remains hopeful Castro can return with a week.
“We’re still hopeful it’s going to be a short-term situation and he can come back when he’s eligible and shortly after,” Luhnow said. “We’ll know more in the next couple of days.”
Castro, who missed all of last season after undergoing ACL surgery on his right knee, was hitting .254 with two homers and 20 RBIs in 20 games this year, but had begun to experience some soreness in the knee.
“He’s going to have more fluid drained [Wednesday] and hopefully we’ll know more in three or four days,” Luhnow said.
Lowrie has spent time on the disabled list in each of the last four seasons, including this year, when he injured his thumb in Spring Training. He hurt his shoulder last year in a collision with Red Sox teammate Carl Crawford and missed time in 2010 with mononucleosis.
Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks was hit in the back by Bud Norris on his first pitch of Tuesday’s game in apparent retaliation for the Brewers’ Mat Gamel flattening Astros catcher Jason Castro at home plate on Monday. Norris said the pitch simply got away from him, but hinted it wasn’t on accident
“It kind of got away from me,” he said. “I’m going to go out there and stand up for my team. I think the umpires handled it professionally, our team handled it professionally and Rickie handled it professionally as well. Nothing personal against him. It is what it is.”
Castro and Gamel were was out of the starting lineup Tuesday, but Astros manager Brad Mills said Castro wasn’t scheduled to play anyway and, other than a sore neck, Castro was feeling fine.
Mills said Gamel would have had a good shot at being safe had he slid and said he didn’t have to bowl over Castro, who was knocked back and hit the back of his head off the ground and held onto the ball for a double play to end the sixth inning. He stayed in the game.
“My first thought was he must have the plate blocked and then I found out he didn’t have the plate blocked and I said, ‘C’mon, man,’” Mills said. “It was a situation he was trying to knock the ball loose, but I thought Jason did a great job.”
Veteran catcher Chris Snyder said it’s important for catchers to expose the plate to the runner to avoid violent collisions that occurred Monday.
“At this level, more times than no you see guys that know what they’re doing and the catcher is going to give them the plate,” Snyder said. “You see what’s happened over the year with guys getting concussions on both sides of it and what happened to [San Francisco’s Buster] Posey last year. It’s a reaction.”
Snyder said collisions are a lot more common in the Minor Leagues, where young players are for the first time able to collide with the catcher in an effort to knock the ball loose.
“I got lit up quite a bit in the Minor Leagues because there you have kids just out of high school and college and there have been rules against it and they’re just excited to be able to finally do it and they don’t know how to do it,” he said.
When asked specifically about Gamel’s leveling of Castro, Snyder thought it was unnecessary.
“I didn’t like it,” he said. “He had the plate. It’s a 6-2 ballgame. I didn’t like it.”
Astros catcher Jason Castro, who missed all of last season following ACL surgery on his right knee, caught all nine innings of Friday’s game against the Braves, marking the first time since his surgery a year ago he caught nine innings in a game.
Castro’s knee has felt great all spring, and it didn’t hurt that Friday was a night game and was played in two hours, 16 minutes. Still, after catching seven innings on Thursday, being able to come back and catch nine on Friday was a great sign.
“I didn’t know I was going to go nine and I talked to [manager Brad Mills] and he asked how I was feeling, and I said I was feeling good,” Castro said. “He said, ‘You can go ahead and have the whole thing.’ That was a fairly quick one and we had some easy innings, so that made it a little easier.”
Not only is Castro proving he’s healthy, but he’s playing well. He went 2-for-3 with an RBI single on Friday and is hitting .333 (13-for-39) with eight RBIs this spring.
“I put in a lot of work to get to where I’m at right now and I’m really happy with the way things have gone,” Castro said. “Hopefully I can just keep progressing and carry this into the season. I’m real happy with physically how I’m feeling and how my body is responding and recovering the day after catching. I’m really happy with that.”
As the Astros hit the field at rainy Osceola County Stadium, here’s a Sunday morning update from manager Brad Mills:
– Catcher Humberto Quintero (bulging disk) will catch in the bullpen Sunday for the second day in a row. Quintero caught Livan Hernandez‘s side session Saturday and felt some stiffness in his back, though it got better the longer he was out there. He will catch Sergio Escalona on Sunday and swing off a tee Monday.
– Catcher Chris Snyder is in the lineup catching consecutive games for the first time. Jason Castro will be behind the plate on Monday. Mills said the way the catching rotation was set up, Snyder was making most of the road trips and facing all the right-handed pitchers and Castro was staying in Kissimmee and facing all the left-handed pitchers. “That’s not quite how we wanted to work things out and we had to mix it up,” Mills said. “I don’t have any problem with Castro facing lefties, but we want to mix it up.”
– Left-hander Sergio Escalona (elbow) will throw his first bullpen session Sunday since being shut down for a few days with elbow problems. Escalona was very effective out of the bullpen last season for the Astros, so they would like the back issue to get resolved and get a good look at him.
– Non-roster outfielder Justin Ruggiano was back in the lineup Sunday in right after missing some time with a strained oblique. It’s the same injury that’s sidelined outfielder Travis Buck, but he’s available to play Sunday.
– Infielder Angel Sanchez (back) is scheduled to see his first action of the spring Sunday and will be in the starting lineup at second base when the Astros face the Yankees on Monday night.
– Right-hander Kyle Weiland will make his first start of the spring Monday against the Yankees in Tampa. That’s the rotation spot of Bud Norris, who will instead throw four innings/60 pitches in a simulated game. The Astros know what Norris can do, but getting a chance to see Weiland face the Yankees will be a good test for him.
Astros lineup vs. Tigers:
CF Jason Bourgeois
SS Jed Lowrie
LF J.D. Martinez
1B Carlos Lee
C Chris Snyder
DH Chris Johnson
3B Jimmy Paredes
RF Justin Ruggiano
2B Jose Altuve
LHP Wandy Rodriguez
There might not be a more difficult environment to judge pitchers, especially early in camp, than in central Florida. The wind is usually whipping around and bright, sunny skies make tracking fly balls difficult. What does this have to do with pitchers? Astros starter J.A. Happ was victimized by the conditions when left fielder J.D. Martinez lost a fly ball in the sun in the first inning Friday, and right Jason Bourgeois couldn’t quite corral a ball in the fourth as it darted through the wind and the sun’s rays.
Still, Happ was the first to say he needs to pitch around that stuff, and ultimately the outfielders know they need to make those plays. It was just one of those days at the ballpark for the Astros, who lost consecutive games for the first time this spring, 11-2, to the Jays at Osceola County Stadium. You can see the boxscore here.
The big news from camp Friday was the decision by the Astros to keep the pistol on the retro Colt .45s jerseys they will wear twice this year. You can read all about it here, including reaction from an original Colt .45.
Here’s the breakdown:
What went right: Let’s start with two guys coming off injuries — third baseman Jimmy Paredes and catcher Jason Castro.
Castro caught six innings — his longest stint of the spring — and continues to look strong. He went 1-for-2 at the plate with an RBI and a double and threw out the speedy Anthony Gose trying to steal. You remember Anthony Gose, right? He was one of the players the Astros acquired from the Phillies in the Roy Oswalt deal, but they quickly spun him to the Jays for Brett Wallace.
Paredes, meanwhile, made his first start of the spring after nursing a wrist injury and went 1-for-3 with a run scored and three balls that were hit hard, to both fields. He also made a nice defensive play at third base on a bases-loaded dribbler, picking the ball and throwing out the runner at first. He’s going to be fun to watch for sure.
The other Astros hits came off the bats of Brandon Barnes, Carlos Lee, George Springer and Jose Altuve.
Eight Astros pitchers took the mound, and David Carpenter, Wilton Lopez and Wesley Wright each threw a scoreless inning to end the game. Carpenter struck out two batters, and Lopez whiffed all three batters he faced. Wright had one strikeout.
The Astros didn’t commit an error.
What went wrong: Starting pitcher J.A. Happ was shaky and needed 64 pitches to make it through 2 2/3 innings, allowing five hits, three runs and three walks. It’s early and he’s still working on stuff, but Happ would like to see better results. Left fielder J.D. Martinez lost a ball in the sun in the first inning that led to a run, and perhaps both runs Happ allowed.
“With Happ, I would have liked to have seen him stay in control of the [first] inning a little bit,” manager Brad Mills said. “After that first guy gets on, that kind of shook him up a little bit. And then the ball got right in the sun for J.D. and it was kind of tough. At least we were able to talk about it with him and hopefully we can get away from that.”
Brett Myers is trying to build arm strength as he gets geared up to be the closer and allowed three hits and three runs in one inning, throwing a lot of fastballs. He, too, saw an outfielder misplay a fly ball because of the elements, which could have affected his line. Don’t worry about Myers. He’ll be fine.
Aneury Rodriguez was simply just knocked around. Rodriguez had a 1-2-3 fifth inning, striking out a pair, before getting tagged for five hits, five runs and two walks in the sixth as the game got out of hand.
“He had such a good first inning and then lead-off home run got to him and the four-pitch base on balls got him in trouble. All in all, the six walks was a big detriment to what happened today,” Mills said.
At the plate, the Astros were held to six hits. Jordan Schafer, Jason Bourgeois and Brian Bogusevic were 0-for-3.
What they said: “Offensively, their guy [pitcher Henderson Alvarez] was getting head of us throwing quality strikes right away. We still did a pretty good job of having some pretty good at-bats. We did hit quite a few balls hard. I’m trying to look at some of the bright things. We scored two runs, but when you get down like that it takes a lot out of your offense as well.” — Astros manager Brad Mills.
What’s next: Left-hander Zach Duke will state his case to be in the starting rotation when he makes his first start of the spring when the Astros meet the Blue Jays at 12:05 p.m. CT Saturday in Dunedin, Fla. Duke pitched three innings in relief Monday. Jordan Lyles will pitch behind Duke and could go three innings.
Injury update: Catcher Humberto Quintero, who had a cortisone injection into his back on Wednesday to help alleviate the pain from a bulging disk, will catch in the bullpen on Saturday and attempt to block balls and throw on Sunday, with hopes of making his return Monday against the Yankees. … Infielder Angel Sanchez, who has been dealing with back pain, didn’t play in Friday’s game against Toronto as originally planned. Astros manager Brad Mills said he didn’t want to put Sanchez in a game that was out of hand. Mills said the team doctors don’t want Sanchez riding the bus for four hours Saturday when the Astros travel to Dunedin, Fla., to play the Jays, so he plans to have him in the starting lineup Sunday at home against the Tigers. … LHP Sergio Escalona (elbow soreness) continues to play catch.
Here are the photos:
The Astros began Grapefruit League action on Saturday afternoon at warm and windy Osceola County Stadium by beating the Washington Nationals, 3-1, behind strong efforts from seven different pitchers and a two-run homer by Chris Johnson.
Here’s the breakdown:
What went right: You have to start with health. Catcher Jason Castro made his return from a pair of injuries, including a torn ACL that cost him all of last season, and caught three innings and threw out a runner trying to steal. More importantly, Castro says he felt fine. That’s great news for the Astros. Brandon Lyon pitched in a game for the first time since June 13 and threw a scoreless inning.
Astros pitchers didn’t walk any batters, which is a rare feat in a Spring Training game in which you had seven pitchers take the mound. Livan Hernandez and Kyle Weiland threw two scoreless innings, and Brett Myers, Fernando Abad, Brandon Lyon, Wesley Wright and Wilton Lopez each threw a scoreless inning.
Myers gave up the only run of the game for the Astros, but he appeared to have struck Jesus Flores out on an 0-2 pitch before Flores hit an RBI double. Myers and the Astros were a poor call away from a possible shutout.
At the plate, Chris Johnson gave the Astros all the offense they needed with a two-run homer. It’s a great start for Johnson, who is trying to win the Opening Day third base job. With Jimmy Paredes nursing a sore wrist, Johnson is taking advantage of his opportunity early.
Elsewhere, J.B. Shuck had a hit and – surprise! – a walk, and Jose Altuve, Jed Lowrie (triple) and Jason Bourgeois had hits. The Astros didn’t commit an error.
What went wrong: Well, nothing really. When you don’t walk any batters, don’t make any errors, win the game and escape healthy, it’s a good day.
What they said: “We always talk about going up there and having good at-bats and making good contact. When it went over the fence, that was a plus. It’s definitely a good start, but it’s only one at-bat. I have to keep going.” – third baseman Chris Johnson on his two-run, fourth-inning homer of Washington’s Ross Detwiler.
What’s next: Left-hander J.A. Happ makes his first start of the Grapefruit League season when the Astros travel to Viera, Fla., to play the Nationals on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. CT (the game will be broadcast on MLB.TV). Among the players expected to be in the lineup for the first time for Houston are Chris Snyder, Brian Bogusevic and J.D. Martinez.
Injury update: Carlos Lee (mild right hamstring strain) is expected to be in the lineup Monday. … Catcher Humberto Quintero (right leg) is day-to-day. … Third baseman Jimmy Paredes (left wrist) has been cleared to swing a bat from the left side of the plate. … Infielder Angel Sanchez (back) is making steady progress but isn’t game ready.
Here are the photos:
The Astros plan to give Brian Bogusevic a good look in center field this spring, putting him in competition with Jordan Schafer and Jason Bourgeois for the starting nod. Bogusevic started 31 games in right field last year after Hunter Pence was traded, but has some experience in center and enough athleticism to play the position.
What’s more, the Astros have Jack Cust and Travis Buck capable of playing right field.
“His ability gives him the opportunity to be able to play center or right, but we want this guy to step up and be an everyday starter for us and there’s reason he won’t be able to,” Astros manager Brad Mills said of Bogusevic. “We all saw what he can do at times last year.”
Bogusevic, a former first-round pick as a pitch who made the switch to outfield in 2008, understands the importance of being versatile enough to play different positions, and is more than willing to give center field a shot.
“There’s a lot of guys going for open spots, so I think everybody is trying to make a good impression all around,” he said.
Cust can play in left and right and will get some ground balls at first base. Top prospect Jonathan Singleton will also get some time in the outfield, Mills said. Versatile infielders Matt Downs and Brian Bixler will also do some work in the outfield.
Regarding Schafer, Mills said: “He seems like he’s on a mission.”
Here are a few other items of interest:
- Astros manager Brad Mills announced the starting pitchers for the team’s first two Grapefruit League games, with veteran Livan Hernandez pitching Saturday against the Washington Nationals – his former team – at Kissimmee. Left-hander J.A. Happ will face the Nats on Sunday in Viera, Fla.
- Astros pitchers will take a break from throwing live batting practice on Tuesday, giving some of the pitching groups two days off between times on the mound.
- The Astros haven’t been able to successfully schedule extra B games against other clubs, something they wanted to do to create more innings for all of the arms they have in camp. Mills said some pitchers might have to throw in Minor League games. “You’d rather have B games against other teams, but that didn’t quite work out,” he said.
- Infielder Angel Sanchez was again forced to watch from the sidelines against Monday because of his ailing back. Sanchez did some light toss, but didn’t participate in the team’s defensive drills. He said the back is improving.
Here is the day in pictures: