Jason Castro has a strained oblique, Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters (including Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle). The injury has kept the veteran backstop out of Grapefruit League action since last Tuesday, but Castro did return to practice today, per the Houston skipper. There’s no indication at this point that the issue threatens his availability for Opening Day. Castro reunited with his original organization on a one-year deal in January. Martín Maldonado and Garrett Stubbs are the other catchers on the Astros’ 40-man roster.
More from the American League West:
- Athletics right-hander Mike Fiers felt some back discomfort in his most recent bullpen session, manager Bob Melvin said (via Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle). It isn’t clear whether this will affect Fiers’ readiness for Opening Day. Oakland brought back the veteran starter on a one-year deal over the winter. Melvin also said the A’s expect Frankie Montas to be ready for the start of the regular season after a bout with COVID-19 set him back early in camp, Kawahara writes.
- The Athletics have not been in attendance for any of Yoenis Céspedes’ recent showcases, per Shayna Rubin of the San Jose Mercury News. “We’re not in position, unfortunately (to sign him),” Melvin said, via Rubin. Céspedes spent the first two-plus seasons of his career in Oakland, finishing runner-up in 2012 AL Rookie of the Year voting. The 35-year-old slugger is looking to return to the big leagues in 2021 after opting out of last season after eight games due to COVID-19 concerns.
- Non-roster invitee Matt Bush has a good chance to earn a spot in the Rangers’ season-opening bullpen, writes Kennedi Landry of MLB.com. That’s especially the case now that Jonathan Hernández will open the year on the injured list. After a strong two-year start to his MLB career from 2016-17, Bush had a rough 2018 season. He struggled for much of the year, then suffered a UCL tear that September. After rehab failed to correct the issue, Bush underwent Tommy John surgery in July 2019. The timing of that procedure kept him out through the end of 2020.