With Wright gone, Castro Astros' elder statesman

With Wright gone, Castro Astros' elder statesman

With Wright gone, Castro Astros' elder statesman

OAKLAND -- Jason Castro isn't exactly what you would call a grizzled veteran, but when it comes to the young Astros, the All-Star catcher is rather long in the tooth.

With relief pitcher Wesley Wright being claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, Castro is the team's longest-tenured player. He made his Major League debut on June 22, 2010, for the Astros and is entrenched as a starter after missing all of the 2011 season following knee surgery.

When he was called up, the Astros were still somewhat of a veteran team that included Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and Roy Oswalt. Berkman and Oswalt were traded about a month later as the Astros' rebuilding process hit full gear.

"It's kind of weird," Castro said. "It's not something I ever really anticipated. But it's nice to have been here as long as I have been, and I'm grateful for the opportunities and everything. I think where we're headed is finally starting to take shape now that guys are reaching a point they're to be up here.

"Even some of the guys down in the Minor Leagues are real close. You kind of see things coming together, and having been through the deciding point when it started and now when it's actually starting as far as the onward and upward approach now, I think it's been a good ride, and I'm happy with what we're shaping into."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.