For such a large part of this season, the catching position was a source of strength for the Astros. Between Jason Castro and Carlos Corporan, Bo Porter had nothing to worry about when filling out his lineup card. Both were producing, and Porter also had the designated hitter spot at his disposal to keep Castro healthy and well rested.
But then the concussion bug struck, and Corporan found himself on the disabled list. No problem though, because prospect Max Stassi was on fire at AA, so he was added to the 40-man roster to replace Corporan. That was good because we would then get to see what the third piece of the Jed Lowrie trade could do at the major league level. Well, at least until Stassi also suffered a concussion forcing him to the disabled list.
At that point, there really was not anyone left. No other catchers were left on the 40-man roster. With Oklahoma City in the playoff race, Rene Garcia and Carlos Perez were kept in the minor leagues, so career minor leaguer Cody Clark was called up to Houston. Now nothing against Clark, but his performance has left a lot to be desired. I don’t want to single him out, as he is just a place holder, but let’s take a look at stat line through action Monday.
.000 average, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, 14 plate appearances
Now Clark certainly is not to blame for the Astros recent stretch of losses, but it is hard to win when you have an automatic out in the lineup. Clark has played well defensively, so this has not been a complete failure. More importantly, it is tough to see someone wait this long (since 2006) to reach the major leagues, and struggle to get their first major league hit.