Castro's season over as Astros put catcher on DL
Prior to move, knee discomfort sidelined All-Star for much of September
HOUSTON -- The Astros placed Jason Castro, their All-Star catcher, on the disabled list with a sore right knee before Tuesday night's game, officially ending his season.
Castro had a cyst drained on the knee Sept. 3 and had played in only two games since, both as the designated hitter.
"No, it's not really a disappointment," Castro said. "It's something you can't really help. This is going to be the best option moving forward. It's something we wanted to get cleared up before the offseason."
The Astros weren't about to take any chances with one of their prized commodities.
"It's to the organization's benefit that we want Jason Castro 100 percent coming into spring training," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "It's not worth risking [playing him]. It's not something very serious, but it was hindering him. Why risk putting him behind the plate?
"The whole communication has been about, 'Would it have any lingering effects going into the offseason?' We want to let him enjoy the success he had this season."
Castro hit .276 in 120 games, appearing as a DH as well as catcher. He finished the year with 18 homers and 56 RBIs.
"Obviously, we miss him on the field," Porter said. "He's arguably the MVP for the season. He's hit in the middle of the lineup the entire year. He's an All-Star. It's definitely a blow from a team standpoint, but we're doing the best thing for the organization and the best thing for Jason Castro."
Castro agreed with Porter.
"I think this is the right call," Castro said. "It's going to put me in the best possible situation in the offseason. If we had more time left in the season, I might be able to come back. Based on the  games we have left, I don't think that's going to be possible. Instead of aggravating it any further, let the healing process start now. I'm confident it's not going to be anything that's going to be an issue."
Castro, 26, developed into a team leader this season.
"I think it's definitely an important role," Castro said. "Some of that just comes along with being a catcher. There's only a few of us who have been around here for multiple years. We have to use those experiences to help the younger guys navigate part of their careers. I have tried to help some of the pitching staff, as far as scouting meetings, what guys are going through, help guys get back on track. That's definitely part of my role as a catcher."
"The good thing is he's still in the clubhouse, he's still in the dugout," Porter said.
Castro said he didn't know if he'd make Houston's final road trip of the season to Cleveland and Texas.
The catcher said he made some changes last offseason that helped him at the plate this year, particularly with his swing path. He hit .257 with six homers and 29 RBIs in 87 games last season.
"I'm very happy with [my season]," Castro said. "Getting at-bats every day helped me develop an approach. The confidence is definitely there [now]."
General manager Jeff Luhnow was pleased with Castro's development in 2013.
"He had a great year," Luhnow said. "He took another step forward. I'm really excited about him being around for a long time to come. I knew he had the potential to improve as an offensive player. He's now beyond just being a good hitting catcher. He's a good hitter for a Major League player, period."
Gene Duffey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.