BRADENTON, Fla. -- When incumbent starter Jason Castro went down, likely for the season, with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, that gave an opportunity for J.R. Towles or Carlos Corporan to seize a roster spot that wasn't there when Spring Training started.
Unless the Astros pick up another catcher in the final week before the start of the regular season, it appears they will begin the season with Quintero and Towles alternating time behind the plate. Quintero will start Opening Day and catch Brett Myers, who flourished with Quintero behind the plate the second half of last year.
"Both of them have performed really well, and there's no reason to think they wouldn't be able to handle the situation moving forward on into the start of the season," said manager Brad Mills, who's not ready to announce any decision on which two catchers he will carry. "Corporan has also done a good job back there and has opened some eyes as well, which has been nice."
Towles, last year's Opening Day catcher, entered Wednesday hitting .314 with two homers and six RBIs, Quintero was batting .393 with five RBIs and Corporan was hitting .381. Mills said he's noticed a difference in the way Towles has carried himself this spring.
"I think the experience of going through that last year [trying to win a job in Spring Training] has definitely helped," he said. "It's more about the way he carries himself and how he interacts with the pitchers and how he interacts with the staff and his demeanor."