For the first time in a long time Astros catcher Jason Castro can say he’s 100 percent.
Castro missed the entire 2011 season when he tore knee ligaments during spring training, and then spent time on the disabled list last year when the knee flared up in what was described then as part of the healing process. Now, with two offseasons of work getting the knee back in shape, Castro is ready to go.
“At the time (in 2012) I thought I felt pretty good,” Castro said. “But the way I feel now shows me how I kind of got used to not feeling good. And that kind of became normal. I’m really excited about how I feel now, how 100 percent actually does feel like.”
"I'm really happy with where I'm at and that's part of the reason why I'm so excited to get down to get down to Florida and continue progressing."
Castro actually showed marked improvement offensively after his stint on the disabled list in the middle of last season. He hit .306 in August and had slugging percentage of .500 in September.
“That was me being comfortable with getting into the repetition of playing everyday,” Castro said. “The last couple of years have been some ups and downs, and I really think everything has kind of come together. I’m real excited about this year. This is kind of the culmination of all my work that I’ve put in since my first surgery.”
Part of the confidence stems from some minor tweaks to his swing that’s giving him confidence that he’ll be able to build on his strong finish at the plate in 2012. But it’s behind the plate that he’s looking for the biggest improvement.
“I really want to get as much work as I can in Spring Training and prepare myself for the full season,” Castro said. “It’s kind of where I was a little slow coming back. After missing all of 2011, I think I was a step behind defensively and I’ve been working at it this offseason.”
It’s been a busy offseason for the Casto family. Astros catcher Jason got married earlier in the offseason and his brother is getting married a week from Saturday.
Of course that’s a perfect excuse to give his brother an earful on his wedding day. Jason, a lifelong 49’ers fan, won’t be able to make their first Super Bowl in 18 years because of it.
“Oh he’ll hear it, yeah,” Castro laughed. “But I haven’t given it to him yet.”