Backup catcher Humberto Quintero has left Astros camp and traveled to Houston to have his injured back examined by team doctors.
Quintero told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com that he’s “feeling better,” but players tend not to leave spring training and fly to another state unless the injury has people worried.
He’s hoping to get a cortisone shot and return to camp Thursday, but McTaggart reports that Astros trainers believe Quintero “could have some inflammation in one of the disks in his back, which could be pinching a nerve and causing discomfort down his right leg.”
Projected starter Jason Castro missed all of last season following knee surgery and is now coming back from a broken foot suffered in the Arizona Fall League, so the Astros can hardly afford to lose more catching depth.
Astros bench coach Alex Cora has been described as a leading candidate for multiple managerial openings since the end of the regular season. He has been tied most closely to the Red Sox job, however, having already interviewed with Boston and with several people reporting that he is the Sox’ top choice.
Now come two reports that the job will be given to Cora, possibly as early as this weekend.
The first report comes from NBC Boston’s Evan Drellich, who hears from his sources that “no doubt” it’s Cora, and that the Red Sox are just waiting for the ALCS to end in order to offer it to him. If the Astros are eliminated, it’d certainly happen as soon as Sunday or Monday. If the Astros advance it may be tricker, timing wise, to make a formal introduction since he’d be busy preparing for the World Series, but they could theoretically name him and introduce him later.
A second report came from the Twitter feed for LasMayores.com, MLB’s official Spanish language website. It said today (roughly translated) that “according to several sources [Cora] will be formally presented as manager of the Red Sox after the ALCS ends.” The twist on that: the tweet was deleted a few minutes ago, even though it remained up for several hours. I’d guess that’s likely more due to MLB not wanting any of its official organs to jump the gun than it is based on it being misinformation.
Either way, all signs are pointing to Cora, who played for the Red Sox from 2006-2008, being the next manager in Boston.