Jason Castro has surgery to remove cyst from knee

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Jason Castro was shut down earlier this week due to right knee discomfort and now Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that he underwent a minor procedure today to have a cyst removed.

Castro fouled a ball off his knee on September 2 and had the cyst drained one day later, but he only appeared in two more games as a DH before being shut down. While his right knee has been a problem in the past, costing him the entire 2011 season, he is expected to be 100 percent for 2014.

Castro was a big bright spot for the rebuilding Astros this season, batting .276/.350/.485 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow still has a lot of holes to fill before the team becomes a contender, but catcher shouldn’t be one of them.

Yankees to hire Josh Bard as their new bench coach

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Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.

Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.

Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.

Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:

“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”