Astros place Jason Castro on the disabled list, promote Max Stassi

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The Astros have placed catcher Jason Castro on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quad and recalled catcher Max Stassi from Triple-A Fresno, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports. Stassi will be available for Saturday’s contest against the Twins.

Stassi, 24, has struggled in his second season at Triple-A, batting .211/.279/.384 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI in 328 plate appearances. The Astros acquired him from the Athletics in February 2013 in the Jed Lowrie trade. Stassi had brief stints in the majors in both 2013 and ’14, but is still searching for his first big league home run.

Castro hits the shelf batting .220/.284/.395 with 11 home runs and 30 RBI in 327 PA.

Pirates shut down Chris Archer

Chris Archer
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The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.

Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.

With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.