Thursday, May 17, 2018

The catching situation

Let us hope that the news arc on Jason Castro halts its direction here, because it seems that every development about his right knee becomes increasingly dire. In the last two weeks or so we've seen it go from:

  • Sound enough to play on, to
  • Cortisone shot and a short DL stint, to
  • Surgery and a month or so of rehab, to
  • Out for the season

The next step in this progression is probably something like amputation.

Castro has another season left on his contract, and the way Paul Molitor worded Castro's 2019 outlook Wednesday morning was open to interpretation: "I think there's some real optimism." Yes, sir, but is there some real pessimism? 

Let us assume for the moment that the Twins are indeed confident that Castro will be capable of carrying his 2017 workload in 2019. That still leaves them about four-and-a-half months of 2018's regular season, plus, they hope, some playoffs. And their catchers are a relatively old rookie in Mitch Garver (27) and the well-traveled veteran Bobby Wilson (35).

LaVelle Neal said on Twitter that it's time to see what Garver can do. My expectation is that Garver will hit well enough to justify the bulk of the playing time, but he's no Castro behind the dish. So far Molitor has split the catching time pretty evenly between Garver and Wilson in Castro's absence.

Nothing's going to happen, barring further injury, for the next month or so. Once past the June draft, however, the Twins might start sniffing the trade market for a veteran backstop, especially if Garver doesn't perform well enough over the next month to merit the regular job. (There should be no expectation that Wilson can be anything more than a backup.)

 If they truly expect Castro back in form next season, their interest will probably be in a rental, a free-agent-to-be. If they are wary about his chances -- and this is his third operation on that knee -- they'll raise their sights.

Believe what they do more than what they say.

No comments:

Post a Comment