Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/25/13
Rested and healthy for the first full season of his career Astros All-Star catcher Jason Castro is rounding the final stretch of the 2013 season with plenty of confidence and power. On Saturday night Castro guided Brad Peacock through 5 2/3 innings calling on his rookie starter’s newfound slider often to get out of trouble. Catchers are judged first and foremost on how they guide a pitching staff and the former Stanford star has done wonders with the Astros’ young rotation lately. Castro also took care of business at the plate. He hit a pair of home runs to tie the Astros’ single-season home run record by a catcher while beating the Blue Jays 8-5 at Minute Maid Park. “Castro’s been outstanding” Astros manager Bo Porter said. “I think a lot of it has to do with his health and just him being able to obviously be healthy. The rest that we’ve been able to give him I think is paying big dividends this time of year. “Had he not had the amount of time off he’s been afforded this year I think you’ll start to see the wear and tear a little bit. But I think he’s going to stay strong throughout the course of the year because we’ve done a tremendous job of monitoring his workload.” Castro has played 110 of the Astros’ 128 games this season. He has started 89 of those games behind the plate while getting his other starts this year as the team’s designated hitter. Castro also survived the most devastating week for Astros catchers in recent memory. He lost a pair of backups in the span of three days. Carlos Corporan went down Monday night with a concussion. Two days later Max Stassi also suffered a concussion. Cody Clark is up now becoming the second rookie catcher to make his debut this week when he pinch hit on Friday night for Castro before catching the ninth inning. “That’s been my goal obviously this whole season to try to stay as fresh and as healthy as I can to be on the field day in and day out” Castro said. “It’s even more important now. To have Corp and Stas go down like that you never want to see anything like that happen and it’s kind of a scary thing what happened to both of those guys. “So we’re hoping that their recoveries are quick and we’re just here battling. I’ve got to do my job and stay on the field and help this team win in any way possible.” The Astros who will try to seal the three-game sweep Sunday afternoon have won three of their last four series. They hadn’t won a series at home since taking two of three from Milwaukee on June 18-20 With his 16th and 17th home runs of the season before a crowd of 26312 Castro tied the Astros franchise record for homers by a catcher. John Bateman had 17 in 1966. Two of his home runs were hit on days he was the DH but the team counts the record because catching is his primary position.
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