HOUSTON -- Astros manager Brad Mills is pleased to be able to carry a third catcher for the month of September, a luxury that's hard to manage the rest of the regular season. J.R. Towles was recalled when rosters were expanded to join Humberto Quintero and Carlos Corporan behind the plate.
"Any time you have a third catcher, it helps you sometimes if you need to pinch-run or pinch-hit in the ballgame to be able to put yourself in position to score a run and win a game," Mills said.
It's rare these days for teams to carry three catchers prior to rosters expanding because it leaves them short-handed either at the infield and outfield positions or, most likely, means they can only carry 11 pitchers. Mills said finding a third catcher who can also play first base and the outfield is the key.
"I know in Spring Training we had Towles take some ground balls at third and ground balls at first and he even had an outfield glove as well," Mills said. "Having that type of individual that's able to do that as a third catcher is really big, but you have to find the right guy."