HOUSTON -- Astros manager Brad Mills hadn't committed to pairing one starting pitcher with a specific catcher, that but changed on Monday. Mills said Chris Snyder, who was in the lineup to catch Wandy Rodriguez on Monday, will catch the majority of Lucas Harrell's starts the rest of the way.
Snyder has been behind the plate for three of Harrell's six starts this year, including his last two. Harrell has a 3.93 ERA with three walks and eight strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings with Snyder catching, and has a 5.74 ERA with 10 walks and seven strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings with Jason Castro behind the plate.
"That's a good setup there," Mills said.
It's been challenging for Mills to pair pitchers with certain catchers because Castro is a left-handed hitter and Snyder is a right-hander hitter, and the opposing pitcher often dictates who starts. Mills also takes other factors into consideration, such as day games after night games and travel.
Snyder's start Monday was his 12th start of the season, compared to 17 for Castro, who missed all of last season following knee surgery.
"We have two very good catchers, and people have to understand that," Mills said. "Our pitching staff understands that. They are two guys that work really hard and look at video and scouting reports and match things up real well. It's not an instance where one guy is way over another guy."