Bad Year to be an Astro Especially for Catchers

The other day The Houston Astros added another catcher to their roster.

Normally this would not really be news worthy since teams often add a third catcher in September when the rosters are expanded.

What makes the latest Astros addition of a catcher newsworthy is the fact that it is the third catcher the Astros have added to the roster since August 20th due to injuries.

Carlos Corporan was injured August 19 when he took a foul ball off of his facemask. Max Stassi was called up to replace Coporan and he was hit in the head by a pitch two days later and hasn’t played since. Both Corporan and Max Stassi remain on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

The latest injury to an Astros catcher occurred Monday when Jason Castro was pulled from the game after an RBI single in the second inning with a sprained right knee. It should be noted that it is the same knee Castro had surgically repaired in 2011.

Jason Castro meets with Manager Bo Porter and the athletic training staff before being pulled from the game with a sprained knee. The injury is being called day to day leaving the Astros without their only All-Star representative for the foreseeable future. Photo R. Anderson

Jason Castro meets with Manager Bo Porter and the athletic training staff before being pulled from the game with a sprained knee. The injury is being called day to day leaving the Astros without their only All-Star representative for the foreseeable future.
Photo R. Anderson

So with two catchers out with concussions and Castro deemed day to day with a cyst on the medial side of his right knee, the Astros were left with only Cody Clark on the roster as a catcher.

Clark is a real life Crash Davis having spent 11 years bouncing around the Minor Leagues before being called up August 23.

The Astros don’t want to call up a third catcher from within their farm system since their Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City and Double-A affiliate in Corpus Christi are both going to the playoffs and probably want to have someone available to catch balls that are thrown by the pitchers.

So with no more catchers to promote from within, the Astros were forced to look outside the organization for back stop help.

The team acquired Minor League catcher Matt Pagnozzi from the Braves in exchange for cash considerations.

In announcing the signing of Pagnozzi the Astros press release noted that Pagnozzi was beginning a drive to his home in Arizona from Gwinnett, Ga., and had just changed a bulb on the headlamp in his truck at a Walmart when he got the call he had to head to Houston.

After reading that it reminded me of the movie Major League when the potential manager gets a job offer while working at the tire store and thinks at first that the offer is a joke.

It also reminded me that some reporter likely asked a question along the lines of, “So Matt, what were you doing when you found out you had been traded to Houston?”

First base coach Dave Clark reminds catcher Cody Clark to stay injury free as he is the only able bodied catcher at the time. Photo R. Anderson

First base coach Dave Clark reminds catcher Cody Clark to stay injury free as he is the only able bodied catcher at the time.
Photo R. Anderson

As an aside, if one is ever asked that question the correct response is never, “Well, I was in the bathroom checking my e-mail and saw that I had a message from my agent.”

Even if that is what you were doing, it does not make a good quote and will inevitably lead to the follow up question of “did you wash your hands before replying?”

Although, it should be noted that Walmart bathrooms are certainly a nice place to stop during a road trip, especially if you need to get a bulb for your truck as well.

It is likely that Pagnozzi’s time with the Astros will be short as Corporan will begin a Minor League rehab assignment on Wednesday for Double-A Corpus Christi with the hopes of rejoining the Astros on Monday in Seattle.

I just hope that his time is not shortened by injury since the Astros really are running out of places to find catchers.

Now if you’ll excuse me I am off to the sporting goods store to get a catcher’s mitt and mask since at this rate I very well could be the next catcher called. I just hope they don’t call me while I am at Walmart.

 Copyright 2013 R. Anderson