Stassi is third on the depth chart behind Brian McCann and Martin Maldonado, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. With McCann returning to the fold Saturday, manager A.J. Hinch outlined his strategy for divvying up playing time among three catchers. He said he'll ride the hot hand between McCann and Maldonado and "work Stassi in when I can." That's where Stassi has fallen after he looked like a Rookie of the Year candidate in the first half, when he slugged .457 while pounding left-handed pitching. He eventually lost the primary starter duties after Maldonado was acquired and will act as surplus catching over the final month of the season.
Stassi went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored in Wednesday's win over the Athletics. Stassi's fourth-inning single was his first hit in two weeks, breaking an 0-for-13 skid. An unproductive bat -- the hit raised his second-half average to .173 -- is one reason why Stassi has lost playing time to newcomer Martin Maldonado, who has started seven of the last 10 games behind the dish. With Brian McCann (knee) expected back when rosters expand Sept. 1, Stassi's playing time may drop even further.
Stassi is not in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Rockies. Martin Maldonado draws the start in the series opener. There's been a fairly even split in playing time between Stassi and Maldonado, who is making his second consecutive start.
Stassi went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in Wednesday's 8-3 win over Seattle. Stassi's three-run bomb in the fifth inning put the game out of reach and secured Houston's second consecutive win after a five-game losing streak. It was Stassi's first homer in 25 games. Over the first two-and-a-half months, Stassi was putting on a pretty good show of power, slugging .500 with seven homers over the first 40 games. Since then, however, the catcher has slugged .328 with one homer over the last 25 games. It's not surprising he's been unable to sustain the early power; Stassi has had more plate appearances (211) in the majors this season than he's had in the previous five seasons combined (89).
Stassi is out of the lineup Sunday against the Rangers. Stassi started the last two games behind the plate, even though the newly acquired Martin Maldonado was available for both contests. While he'll give way to Maldonado on Sunday, it appears Stassi still may have a chance to retain the primary catching role, though it's more likely manager A.J. Hinch will go with some sort of timeshare arrangement behind the plate.