Catchers are at a premium in MLB these days. To have a catcher like St. Louis Cardinals‘ Yadier Molina who has the defensive, offensive and game-managing abilities that he does can make all the difference in the world, especially when dealing with a young pitching staff.
The Houston Astros recently avoided arbitration with Jason Castro, their All-Star catcher, but rumors have been swirling that he may be on his way out of Houston.
Castro showcased his offensive prowess in his limited 2013 season. His arm was never in question, though his defense needs some fine-tuning. He is in a position where he can have a huge impact on the young pitching staff of the Astros. He needs to embrace this role and run with it. Likewise, the Astros need to give him a long-term deal to show the faith they have in him.
Castro is one of the best offensive weapons on the team. It may come down to him having limited time actually playing behind the plate, but he is their catcher at least for the time being, and they better hope they can hang on to him.
The backup backstops in Houston have a lot of questions surrounding them. Carlos Corporan is a great game manager and handles pitcher extremely well, but his defensive tools are lacking. Barring sporadic offensive outbursts, his hitting is lacking as well. Max Stassi may turn out to be a decent offensive weapon, but having only managed seven at-bats before suffering a season-ending injury, his sample size is too small to bank on.
Carlos Perez has been hung up in triple-A for quite some time. A predominantly defensive catcher, his .269 batting average in triple-A last year was a welcome surprise.
All in all, Castro is the guy, and he and the Astros both need to start to understand that. There’s no reason to jump ship on him just because he’s had a few nagging injuries.