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Tag:Rene Garcia
Posted on: March 7, 2011 10:28 am
Edited on: March 7, 2011 2:35 pm
 

Astros searching for catching

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jason CastroWhen Jason Castro went down with a sprained knee, the Astros were content with what they had in camp to cover their catching needs.

But when the news came back that Castro had suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (on the play seen at the left) and would miss the majority of the season, that plan changed.

"We're reassessing it," Astros owner Drayton McLane told Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle

Castro is still the team's long-term catcher, but the team may look outside for a stopgap solution. Currently the team has Humberto Quintero and J.R. Towles -- neither of whom profile as much more than quality backups.

The team has just three other catchers in camp, Carlos Corporan, Brian Esposito and Rene Garcia. Neither Corporan, 27, nor Esposito, 32, are prospects, while the 20-year old Garcia hit just .250/.288/.308 combined at the two levels of Class A last season.

"At the end of the day, I'm hoping the guys we have here step up and do what they're capable of doing and win the job," general manager Ed Wade said. "At the same time, if I get a call from somebody and they say, 'Hey, we've got so-and-so available, and this is what we're looking for,' and it fits what we're trying to do, we'd be prepared to do something today."

Ryan DoumitFront-line catching talent isn't exactly easy to find. One of the few catchers on the trading block is Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit.

However, Doumit is owed $5.1 million this season and is far from Ivan Rodriguez behind the plate. But he does have a bat and a bat that would play well at Minute Maid Park. In 72 career plate appearances in Houston, Doumit has hit .292/.347/.446 with three home runs.

Still, Pirates GM Neal Huntington said his phone hasn't exactly been ringing off the hook for Doumit.

"There's really no conversations going on because everybody's focused on their own clubs," Huntington told Ron Musselman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

UPDATE: MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes the Astros have asked the Nationals about Jesus Flores, but is concerned about the health of Flores' right shoulder, which has kept him off the field the last two seasons.
The Nationals have depth at catcher with starter and future Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez, along with Wilson Ramos, who is considered their catcher of the future. The team also things Derek Norris is ready to hit at in the big leagues and is improving defensively.
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