Houston Astros‘ former first-round pick Jason Castro is yet again ailing in the knee that has plagued him his entire career. Once believed to be the Astros version of Buster Posey, the Stanford product has really come on this season, his first fully-fit season since making his MLB debut midway through the 2010 season.
Castro is by far the best and most consistent bat in the Astros’ lineup. He leads the team in batting average and is third in both home runs and RBIs. At only 26 years old, Castro is one of the key pieces to build the future of the Astros around.
That being said, he cannot be built around if he’s wasting away on the disabled list.
Minnesota Twins‘ catcher Joe Mauer and San Francisco Giants‘ Posey have been in similar situations. They were the key offensive players for their teams while playing a position that poses constant injury problems. Their respective clubs made the move to split their time between catcher, first base and, in Mauer’s case, designated hitter.
This needs to happen for Castro. To completely move him to first base is not the right move, but the Astros have to do something to get the stress off of his knees. He can DH, play first base and still play catcher from time to time.
One of the main benefits is that the two positions are at least somewhat similar in the aspect of scooping and what not, but it is also beneficial because the current first baseman crop for the Houston Astros is very weak. Current platooning first basemen Chris Carter and Brett Wallace haven’t hit over .230 in recent memory. The Astros could embellish that position by 50 points and clear up the catcher spot for someone like Max Stassi, who’s offensive output could be full of potential as well.
Castro has way too much value and the Astros have far too little production coming out of the first-base position for this move not too work. It may even enhance Castro’s offensive output, given that he’d be healthier on a daily basis.