Back in February of 2012, as we were getting ready to start discussing potential sleepers for the upcoming season, I wrote a quick piece on Astros catcher Jason Castro that, for lack of a better way to say it, was unflattering. I discussed his run of injuries, his coma-inducing levels of offensive production, and of course, the question of whether he was even worthy of a one dollar pick-up in even the deepest of leagues. The only comment the article received was from someone asking me how I would feel if I were Castro’s wife or mother and saw this piece and my response was both snarky and apropos for the time. Well here we are a year and three months down the road and based on the first two months of the 2013 season, it’s about time I apologized to the women in Castro’s life.
As I dejectedly trudged through the waiver wire in search of a replacement for the disappointing and demoted Jesus Montero, I noticed a helping of stats that seemed out of place on the wire. The batting average was solid, the on-base percentage looked strong, there was a bit of power to be had and wouldn’t you know it…there was even a bit of RBI production as well. Nothing mind-blowing, but decent for waiver wire fodder. I glanced over to the left side of the page and immediately saw Castro’s name. I did a quick double-take, rubbed my eyes, cleaned my glasses and looked again. Yup, there he was. Now my mind was blown. Somewhat reluctantly, I picked him up. After all, he couldn’t be worse than Montero was, could he?
In the week that I have owned Castro, I have become a bit of a believer. He is batting .545 (12-for-22) with three home runs, five RBI and half a dozen runs scored. It was a very welcomed boost to say the least. Now, of course, the sample size is super-small, but after a somewhat pedestrian first month, he is now batting .284 with a .348 wOBA and has numbers worthy of a bump in tier come the end of the month rankings.
In looking at Castro’s ownership percentages — 16.4-percent on ESPN; 18.0-percent on Yahoo — it would seem that he is being overlooked in a number of leagues as well. Granted, his .357 BABIP and 26.7-percent strikeout rate don’t exactly scream sustained production, but given some of the issues we’ve seen behind the plate — both Monteros, Tyler Flowers, Ryan Doumit, Alex Avila and Jonathan Lucroy just to name a few — how much worse off would you be? He’s not going to solve your problems behind the plate completely, but he’s certainly worth a try while you wait for your primary backstop to come around. Grab Castro and stash your starter for a couple of weeks and see what happens. If you own any of the aforementioned catchers, you’ve really got nothing to lose.
And so, in the sincerest way I know how, I would like to personally apologize to both Castro’s wife and mother. Perhaps he’s not as bad as I originally thought.
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