Where does Astros Catcher prospect Korey Lee fit into the Lineup?

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JULY 01: Enoli Paredes #48 of the Houston Astros and Korey Lee #38 congratulate each other after defeating the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park on July 01, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - JULY 01: Enoli Paredes #48 of the Houston Astros and Korey Lee #38 congratulate each other after defeating the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park on July 01, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Jason Castro’s 10-day IL stint allowed the Astros to call up their top prospect at catcher, Korey Lee.  Since Castro has struggled this season at the plate, it is a welcomed addition for fans to have Korey Lee as an option, especially since Martin Maldonado is also struggling offensively.   Maldonado has moved his average up to .145 this season but that still is in the career-low category along with his .212 OBP and .266 slugging percentage.  On the other hand, Korey Lee has slashed .226/.285/.419 in AAA Sugar Land and smashed 10 home runs while driving in 40.  The question remains as to where and how often will we see Lee in his major league debut and what spot will he fill?

The question was partially answered Friday night as Lee made his major league debut pinch-hitting in the 8th inning for Maldonado.  Lee made contact but was not successful at getting a hit in his first major league at-bat, flying out to left field and hitting the ball 309 feet.  Lee then remained in the game in the 9th inning to catch Parades as he closed out the game, getting his first time defensively in the big leagues.  For this current call-up, which remains to be seen how long it will last and how long Castro is out, Lee will probably fill the same role he had tonight, that of late-inning pinch hitter for Maldonado.   Lee should get a start on Maldonado’s off day and he will probably catch one of the younger pitchers when that happens as opposed to Verlander who Castro always caught, although Verlander could be an option as he would be in control of the game if Lee does simply fill in for Castro.  Lee will be looking for his first hit and to prove his call-up wasn’t just for convenience, but that he is a contender to stay up and be a part of the platoon.  The next off day on the Astros schedule is not until Monday the 14th, so look for Lee to get his first career start as soon as the Royals series when Verlander is slotted to pitch next or perhaps Garcia if Verlander wants to maintain his hot streak with a veteran behind the dish.  He hopefully will also be better rested as Lee told reporters earlier Friday that he found out after his game Thursday night and was so excited he only got a few hours of sleep, understandably so, and his excitement didn’t wane as he entered the big league clubhouse for the first time.  Korey Lee will hope to make Dusty Baker and Click’s decision as difficult as possible when Castro is able to return, and to showcase how bright the young Astros prospect’s future is with the club.

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