As suspected yesterday, it looks as though Jason Castro will be out for (most of) the year with a torn ACL.
"The recovery for ACL and meniscus is about six months plus conditioning. There's going to be things as a catcher he's not going to be able to do. We're looking at sometime in September before he'll be back playing."
What the hell do we do now? Doesn't it seem strange to fret so much over a player with a .573 OPS (59 OPS+)? Well, the Astros are now going to take a harder look at J.R. Towles and Carlos Corporan. Brian Esposito and Rene Garcia are also in camp, but it's likely that the catcher they choose will get the majority of starts, as the Astros are sticking with Quintero at C2.
Free Agency, you say? Yeah...the only catcher available on the free agent market is Bengie Molina. And I'm not sure I want the Astros to go down that road. Molina is 36, and made $4.5m in 2010. Of course, you're virtually assured of going to the World Series with him on your roster. But still, Molina will likely want at least $4m, and his OPS+ was 67 in 2010. That won't cut it. Can J.R. Towles post a .623 OPS? Maybe, but it's worth saving that money to try to find out. And now that his nemesis, Roy Oswalt, is gone, there's less of a chance that a pitcher will go all Michael Jordan v. Kwame Brown on him. And I know it feels like Towles is as old as Molina, he's still only 27.
I just can't envision a scenario where a trade makes any sense. J.R. Towles, you've got more lives than an alley cat. Make it count.