Results tagged ‘ sesamoid ’

Castro suffers injury setback

Astros catcher Jason Castro, who missed all of last season after undergoing major knee surgery, will miss the first part of Spring Training after undergoing surgery Friday to remove the sesamoid bone in his left foot.

The injury, which Castro suffered in the Arizona Fall League last month, is similar to the injury suffered a year ago by former Astros second baseman Jeff Keppinger, who had surgery to remove the sesamoid bone Jan. 14 and returned to action in late May.

Castro isn’t allowed to put any weight on the foot for a couple of weeks and won’t be ready for action when pitchers and catchers report Feb. 20, but he is hopeful to be healthy for Opening Day. He hit .205 with two homers and eight RBIs in 195 at-bats in his Major League debut in 2010.

“The timing couldn’t have worked out any more perfectly, as far as having something happen,” Castro said. “You never want anything like this to happen. It gives me time to get healthy and basically have the entire Spring Training to get back in shape.”

Still, the injury casts some uncertainty over Houston’s catching situation entering spring camp. Castro, the club’s first-round pick in 2008 out of Stanford, is slated to be the starter next year in what would be his first full season in the Major Leagues.

Humberto Quintero got most of the starts at catcher last season and on Monday was re-signed to a one-year, $1-million deal, plus bonuses, to avoid arbitration.

Quintero, 32, hit .240 with two homers and 25 RBIs in 79 games last season and has started 147 games the past two years. The Astros have added catching depth by claiming catcher Craig Tatum off waivers from the Orioles in October and they recently re-signed Carlos Corporan to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training.

Castro, 24, missed all of last season after undergoing surgery to repair a large tear in the meniscus and a reconstruction of the ACL. He suffered the injury early in Spring Training when he stepped awkwardly on first base while running out a ground ball in Lakeland, Fla.

Castro doesn’t know exactly when his current injury occurred, except that the foot began bothering him in the Arizona Fall League title game.

“That’s when I noticed it,” he said. “They’ve told me two-to-three months is about normal for a full recovery. I’m kind of looking right in there and looked at the calendar. It looks like I won’t miss much of anything. Three months puts me in the first week of Spring Training games, and hopefully if all goes well I won’t miss anything as far as playing time and all that.”

Castro, hit .289 in 12 games for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League with a .404 on-base-percentage.

Keppinger’s return creates roster decisions

Jeff Keppinger, who was the Astros’ most consistent hitter last year and led them in doubles, is expected to make his 2011 debut by the end of the month, which begs the question: What will the Astros do when Keppinger returns?

It’s no secret Bill Hall has struggled, so perhaps they slid Hall back into a utility role and give Keppinger consistent at-batsat second base. Perhaps they part ways with Hall, even though that would cost them a few million dollars. But there’s no doubt Keppinger’s ability to put the ball in play is something the Astros can certainly use.

Astros outfielder Jason Michaels will be activated from the disabled list Friday, and infielder Joe Inglett will be the odd man out. That sets the stage for the next roster move upon Keppinger’s return.

Keppinger will begin a Minor League rehab assignment Thursday night for Double-A Corpus Christi, which plays in Frisco, Texas. Keppinger will play nine innings at second base Thursday and Saturday and serve as designated hitter Friday and Sunday before moving to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

“Once I get there it’s going to be based on how I’m feeling,” said Keppinger, who underwent surgery Jan. 14 to remove the sesamoid bone from his foot.  “I’m excited to be able to get out of here and play some competitive ball. My foot’s been feeling pretty good for a week and a half now, two weeks. It’s not like it was bad before, but it just ached a little bit when I did a lot of work.”

Keppinger, who hit .288 with a team-high 34 doubles and drove in 59 runs in 137 games last year, has been playing extensively in extended spring in recent days and then doing sprints and leg lifts to build up his strength. He’s had about 40 at-bats and is eager to see better pitching.

“Once you get out of there, you can actually start feeling the excitement of getting back,” he said.

Of course, Keppinger has been following the Astros during the first six weeks of the season, while talking to teammates like Jason Michaels, Chris Johnson and Bud Norris.

“I had one of the trainers down here post a boxscore every day when I come in,” he said. “I don’t have a computer – my wife took it home a week and a half ago – but I would get on the computer when they were playing. I’m ready to get back.”

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