Results tagged ‘ Jason Castro ’
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.
Pagnozzi was expected to be in uniform for Tuesday night’s game against the Twins. 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.
To make room for Pagnozzi on the 40-man roster, the Astros will transfer Edgar Gonzalez to the 60-day disabled list.
Castro was scheduled to be examined by team doctors Tuesday after leaving Monday’s game with a sprained right knee — – the same knee he had surgically repaired in 2011. He suffered the injury running the bases in the first inning, but it’s not believed to be serious.
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. Even if Castro only has to miss a few days, the Astros needed some reinforcement at the position.
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.
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.
Astros catcher Jason Castro was named on Tuesday as the team’s first American League Player of the Week.
Castro hit .579 (11-for-19) with one double, three home runs, five RBIs and five runs scored in six games for the week that ended Sunday, including a 10-for-12 stretch in a three-game sweep at the hands of the Oakland A’s.
Castro is the first Houston player to be honored as Player of the Week since Hunter Pence was named NL Player of the Week in September, 2010. Castro led the Majors in batting average, slugging percentage (1.105) and on-base percentage (.636), was tied for fourth in homers and was tied for fifth overall in total bases (21).
On Monday against the Kansas City Royals, the 25-year-old launched his fourth homer of the season, a solo shot in the third inning as the Astros went on to defeat the Royals, 6-5, at Minute Maid Park. After drawing a walk in a pinch-hitting appearance in a loss to Kansas City on Tuesday, Castro and the Astros bounced back in the rubber match between the two Clubs on Wednesday with a 3-1 victory.
The California native shined on the offensive and defensive sides, going 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored at the plate, while throwing out a pair of base runners in the latter half of the contest to help seal the win for Houston.
On Saturday, the Stanford University product combined with teammate Matt Dominguez to launch a pair of homers each, but their efforts were not enough as the host Astros fell to the Oakland Athletics, 11-5. Castro went 3-for-4 in the outing as he and Dominguez became the first Astros duo to collect multiple homers in the same game since Lance Berkman and Craig Biggio on July 25, 2005 against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Castro’s pair of blasts gives him six homers on the season, equaling his 2012 total and tying a career high. Houston’s first round pick (10th overall) in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft continued to swing a hot bat in Sunday’s matchup with Oakland, collecting a career-high four hits and scoring a run as Houston fell to the visiting A’s, 6-2.
Castro, in his third Major League season, became the first Astros player with at least three hits in three straight games since Ty Wigginton on August 15-17, 2008.
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Jason Castro will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time.
Astros manager Bo Porter was asked repeatedly this spring about setting his starting lineup, and he always gave the same answer: “Jose Altuve is my starting second baseman and he’s going to hit leadoff.” In other words, Porter was set on the 5-foot-6 Altuve as his starting second baseman, but every other position was up for grabs.
Though the evaluation process continues in the outfield, earlier this month Porter identified J.D. Martinez as the starting left-fielder, Robbie Grossman as the starting center-fielder and Jimmy Paredes as the starting right-fielder — for now. These names are by no means locked in as much as Altuve, an All-Star a year ago, but Porter’s declaration was more about finding out what Martinez, Grossman and Paredes can do to prove they belong.
Which brings us to Saturday night, when third baseman Matt Dominguez and catcher Jason Castro both hit two homers, becoming the first Astros teammates to do that since Lance Berkman and Craig Biggio in 2005.
Dominguez, a tremendous defender, has seven homers in his last 12 games after not hitting a homer in his first 33 games this year, and the former first-round pick Castro has homered three times in his last six games and is hitting .450 in that span. Dominguez is hitting .253 with seven homers and a team-leading 24 RBIs, and Castro is hitting .265 with six homers and 15 RBIs.
After the game, Porter was ready to say Dominguez and Castro had joined Altuve in locking up a starting spot for the long term, and considering there’s nobody in the Minor Leagues ready to push them, that’s a good thing for the Astros.
“We found ourself a third baseman and we found ourself a catcher,” Porter said. “And coming into the season we knew we had a second baseman. This is the thing: You let them play long enough, the questions you have, they’ll answer them. One way or another, they will answer the questions you need to have answered. I will not leave this season without getting every question I have in my head answered.”
As for first base and shortstop? Jonathan Singleton appears to be the first baseman of the future and will begin his Minor League season next week after missing the first 50 games because of a second failed drug test. The shortstop spot is being kept warm until 2012 No. 1 pick Carlos Correa is ready, though Jonathan Villar could be interesting to watch next year.
And don’t sleep on Chris Carter, who has enough power to entrench himself at first base or designated hitter if he can cut down on his strikeouts.
Whether any of these names are here when the Astros hope to contend in a few years remains to be seen, but there are some signs on hope in the rubble of a 14-35 season.
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