12/12/11 6:37 PM EST
Foot surgery to delay Castro's Spring Training
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
The injury, which Castro suffered in the Arizona Fall League last month, is similar to the injury suffered a year ago by former Astros second baseman Jeff Keppinger, who had surgery to remove the sesamoid bone Jan. 14 and returned to action in late May.
Castro isn't allowed to put any weight on the foot for a couple of weeks and won't be ready for action when pitchers and catchers report Feb. 20, but he is hopeful to be healthy for Opening Day. He hit .205 with two homers and eight RBIs in 195 at-bats in his Major League debut in 2010.
"The timing couldn't have worked out any more perfectly, as far as having something happen," Castro said. "You never want anything like this to happen. It gives me time to get healthy and basically have the entire Spring Training to get back in shape."
Still, the injury casts some uncertainty over Houston's catching situation entering spring camp. Castro, the club's first-round pick in 2008 out of Stanford, is slated to be the starter next year in what would be his first full season in the Major Leagues.
Humberto Quintero got most of the starts at catcher last season and on Monday was re-signed to a one-year, $1 million deal, plus bonuses, to avoid arbitration.
Quintero, 32, hit .240 with two homers and 25 RBIs in 79 games last season and has started 147 games over the past two years. The Astros have added catching depth by claiming catcher Craig Tatum off waivers from the Orioles in October and they recently re-signed Carlos Corporan to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training.
Castro, 24, missed all of last season after undergoing surgery to repair a large tear in the meniscus and a reconstruction of the ACL. He suffered the injury early in Spring Training when he stepped awkwardly on first base while running out a ground ball in Lakeland, Fla.
Castro doesn't know exactly when his current injury occurred, except that the foot began bothering him in the Arizona Fall League title game.
"That's when I noticed it," he said. "They've told me two to three months is about normal for a full recovery. I'm kind of looking right in there and looked at the calendar. It looks like I won't miss much of anything. Three months puts me in the first week of Spring Training games, and hopefully if all goes well, I won't miss anything as far as playing time and all that."
Castro, hit .289 in 12 games for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League with a .404 on-base-percentage.