Jason Castro has missed the entire season after tearing his ACL early in spring training, so the Astros may get their projected starting catcher some 2011 playing time by asking him to play in the Arizona Fall League.
Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that Castro is eligible for the AFL despite playing 67 games in the majors last season and as a 24-year-old 2008 first-round pick he won’t be hugely out of place among the prospects.
Castro was slated to be the Opening Day catcher in Houston and in his absence the Astros have gotten a combined .216 batting average and five homers from the position, which is good for a .572 OPS that ranks dead last among NL teams.
Castro wasn’t going to be a superstar or anything, but his injury is one of many reasons why Houston is trying to avoid a 110-loss season.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.