Major League Baseball announced that it has approved a roster substitution for the Houston Astros, with Jason Castro being removed from the World Series roster due to COVID-19 protocols. Fellow catcher Garrett Stubbs will take his place. Astros’ general manager James Click didn’t answer a question about whether Castro tested positive, according to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. However, Mark Berman of Fox 26 reports that Castro has indeed tested positive.
This news comes with just over an hour to go before Houston is set to take on Atlanta in the fourth game of the series. This shouldn’t affect tonight’s lineup as Martin Maldonado was penciled into the catcher’s slot when that was announced earlier today.
When Jorge Soler tested positive during the NLDS, he had to quarantine for at least five days and couldn’t return until cleared as non-infectious by a four-person joint health and safety committee, consisting of two doctors, and one representative each from the league and the players’ union. Assuming the same protocols are in place now, that means Castro’s season is done. The seventh game of the series is scheduled for November 3rd, which is just four days away.
Maldonado has seen the bulk of the playing time behind the plate this season, garnering 41 plate appearances so far to Castro’s nine. But Castro has made those nine appearances count, as he had a single, a homer and two walks. As for Stubbs, he only made 38 plate appearances at the big league level this year. But in Triple-A, he got 146 appearances and hit .265/.418/.363.