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Max Stassi's injury creates more questions for Astros

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There are a few different ways the Astros can go with Stassi hurt, but which path will they go?

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The injury to Max Stassi has further magnified a lingering question -- Who will be the backup catcher?

The question remains because of two factors:

A) Till Jason Castro can bat above .250 consistently, you can't have him play five or six games a week.

B) Hank Conger had 229 plate appearances, played in 73 games and for a time became Dallas Keuchel's personal catcher.

"He's (Max Stassi) not going to be an option for opening day," A.J. Hinch told Houston Chronicle reporter Jose de Jesus Ortiz. "Which opens opportunities to other guys in camp."

Hinch went on to list Tyler Heineman, Alfredo Gonzalez and Roberto Pena as in-house options to step up. That group including Stassi hasn't made a name for themselves.

In the near future, the three will get an increase in at-bats and get more of a chance to show themselves. If they don't there is always other routes.

"I'm sure Jeff and his guys will do extensive research on guys outside the organization," Hinch said.

The backup catching position can't be ignored, so look for them to be scouring other teams in search for a veteran backup. Having a young player like Stassi, Heineman or whoever else would be nice. But it's probably best to have a steady veteran bat that can put together a good game plan.

It's a pipedream but maybe you pull the trigger on a deal for Jonathan Lucroy and hand him the catcher/designated hitter/first base job.

If they miss Carlos Corporan they could offer the Yankees a low level prospect and bring him back home.

The most likely option will be the Astros will be looking hard at catchers getting cut and released.

Alfredo Gonzalez would be the easiest option for the Astros since he is on the 40 man roster all ready. Any outside addition or adding Heineman/Pena would cause them to have to take someone off the 40 man.

Can Gonzales carry the load till Stassi is healthy? When Stassi is healthy, is he the real deal, will he be the guy to replace Castro at some point?

These questions are what the Astros are asking themselves, whether or not a move is made, that will give you the answers to those questions.