Over the next few days I will be handing out my mid-season grades for every player on the active roster. I will ease into this today starting with the catchers. This is a position that has been influx ever since Jason Castro went down with a knee injury during spring training that knocked him out of the 2011 season.
The Astros have used four different catchers this year between J.R. Towles, Humberto Quintero, Carlos Corporan and Robinson Cancel. At about the quarter mark of the season I gave the position a grade of F and since then there hasn’t been much done to raise that grade. After the jump I give each player a grade for their production to this point.
J.R. Towles- Many thought that Towles was not going to be making the active roster during spring training with the emergence of Jason Castro and defensive catcher Humberto Quintero. He spent some time working on transitioning to first base in hopes of finding a spot on the roster. Well Castro went down and this opened the door for Towles to have one last chance to prove he can be a major league catcher.
After the first month it looked like Towles was seizing that opportunity as he was hitting .364 and had two home runs, which was more than his season totals in 2010 and 2009. Since that point, Towles has come crashing back down and is now hitting .189 and has one home run over the past two months. Unless Towles turns things around in the second half, this will most likely be his last chance with the Astros.
Humberto Quintero- 2011 has not been good for Quintero either who has been on the DL since the end of May with an ankle injury. He made his first rehab start yesterday with Oklahoma City going 1-3 with a double and a run scored. It will still probably be close to another week from today before we see Quintero up with the Astros and while he isn’t a top catcher, he will be an upgrade over what the Astros have now. Quintero is hitting .248 on the season
Carlos Corporan– He was called up when Quintero went on the DL and looked overmatched at times at the major league level. He did however look to get into a bit of a groove the past three games he played going 5 for 10 with three doubles, raising his season average from .105 to .188. Even with his little hot streak Corporan will most likely be sent down once down Quintero returns next week.