One of the lone bright spots for the 2013 Houston Astros has been the play of Jason Castro, but unfortunately, we won’t be seeing him on the baseball diamond again until 2014.
According to a published report from MLB.com’s Brian McTaggert, Castro has been shut down for the duration of the season on account of knee discomfort, and he has been placed on the disabled list for good measure. Normally, simple “discomfort” in a knee wouldn’t be overly troubling, but Castro has a long and documented history of knee issues, and being a catcher doesn’t lend itself to a long-term career with those problems.
He hasn’t caught in a game since September 3rd, but before that, he was absolutely lights-out for the (terrible) Astros. In 491 plate appearances, Castro had a .276/.350/.485 slash line with 18 home runs, and in the process, he firmly established himself as an upper-tier catcher across the entire league. At 26 years old, he should be in his physical prime, and that was clearly showing through in his play in 2013.
On the night that the Astros reached 100 losses, the timing couldn’t be any worse for the shutdown of Castro. He is their best player by far at this stage, and even in a massive rebuilding effort, the big league club will always be in need of ready-made talent. Hopefully, these knee issues will dissipate after some rest over the winter, but we won’t see Castro again until late February when pitchers and catchers report.