Cody Clark reaches the Majors
The Astros have been bringing up players left and right of late from the minor leagues. Many have made their major league debut this season. On Friday the team brought up catcher Cody Clark from Double A Corpus Christi, replacing Max Stassi, who was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
Clark too is in his first stint in the majors. But unlike the others, Clark is a veteran of the minor leagues and is 31 years old.
Clark found out on Thursday from Hooks manager Keith Bodie that he was coming up to big leagues.
“Manager pulled me in his office and said how long have you been playing? I said this is my 11th year,” said Clark. “He said how many managers have you had. Oh, about eight or nine. He goes, it’s a privilege for me to be the first one to tell you you’re going up.
“I broke down and was like thank you. I shed a few tears. Lot of emotion. It’s all good. I’m here now.”
It took some doing for Clark to get to the majors. Originally an 11th round draft pick in the 2003 draft by the Rangers out of Wichita State, Clark has spent time in the organizations of the Rangers (2003-05), Braves (2006), Royals (2007-12) and Astros (2012). There were times when Clark was ready to walk away from a career in the minors and start a new profession.
“About 20 times,” said Clark, an Arkansas native who grew up rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals and whose favorite player was George Brett. “I had a couple conversations with my wife (Jordan) and my dad (Doug).
“The main thing is I want to play baseball. It didn’t matter to me if it was the big leagues or not, I just want to play. I get a lot of joy from playing.”
Clark will have family in from Conway, Ark., including his mother Carol, at Friday night’s game with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Clark has spent the majority of the 2013 season at Triple A Oklahoma City (44 games) but was recently moved to Double A. He has combined to hit .212 (32-for-151) with one home run and 13 RBIs. He threw out eight base runners in 35 attempts (22.9 percent)at OKC.
Astros manager Bo Porter is pleased to see Clark’s patience pay off.
“I think it’s outstanding,” said Porter. “You have a lot of guys that spend a lot of time in the minor leagues and never get that call. Even when he signed with the organization it was good to have a veteran guy that if we had an emergency we would need an experienced guy to bring up here.
“He was excited when he walked in the door and we’re excited to have him.”
Besides Stassi, catcher Carlos Corporan was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Aug. 20. Jason Castro is the starting catcher and it’s uncertain how much Clark will play. The Astros on Friday start a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.
“It all depends on Castro,” said Porter. “We went to great lengths through the course of the year to keep him healthy, to keep him fresh. We’ll have to pick our spots and give him some days off.”