Last year, I'm pretty sure my ill-fated story on Carlos Lee and the Hall of Fame caused him to have the worst season of his career. This year? Not a day after I put up a post at SB Nation Houston about how it wouldn't be a big deal if all the players listed on Will Carroll's injury report were actually injured...Jason Castro tears his ACL stepping around the bag running to first.
It's all my fault.
The only reasonable thing I can do at this point is resign my spot as an Astros blogger. Either that, or start writing nothing but negative material about the team.
This one does hurt. Castro missing a whole year in his development will be big, especially since we don't know if he could have started to turn around his hitting this season. That's now a huge unknown moving forward, as is his ability to play catcher long-term. Knee injuries and squatting for 120-130 games a year do not go hand-in-hand.
Everyone's mentioned the options at this point. Benjie Molina is the best of the free agents, though I doubt the Astros have the payroll flexibility to add his salary to the mix. Of the catchers in camp, Quintero, Carlos Corporan and J.R. Towles probably have the best shot at landing on the Opening Day roster.
It's anyone's guess who wins out. I think many fans would like to see Towles get the job, simply because his minor league track record shows he can hit the ball a little bit. Having an offensive catcher in the lineup would be pretty huge, if the Astros want to score some runs this season.
One thing has puzzled me. Why was everyone assuming Jason Castro would be the starting catcher? Last season, he and Quintero had a pretty even 50/50 split going with the starts, even late into the season. All of a sudden, he's the guy now that will get most of the starts? That doesn't strike me as the way Brad Mills works.
That's why I still think Q will get about half the starts, with either Towles, Corporan, Brian Esposito or some other waiver wire find might grab the job. It's still going to be disappointing seeing anyone behind the plate other than Castro. If this season was predicated on hope for the future, that hope just took a hit. Now, we just have Brett Wallace to focus on. No pressure, Brett!