Castro poised to complete first healthy season

Castro poised to complete first healthy season

HOUSTON -- Astros catcher Jason Castro is on his way toward his first full healthy season in the Major Leagues. The fact he had a heat pack on his neck and back before Tuesday's game was just part of late-season maintenance.

"I'm just trying to stay loose," he said. "I think I slept a little weird [Monday] night and the neck is a little stiff."

Castro entered Tuesday having played 95 games, which is 25 shy of his career-high 120 a year ago. He also had 359 at-bats, which means he should surpass the career-best 435 at-bats in 2013, a season in which he missed the final two weeks after having a cyst on right knee drained.

Castro, of course, missed the entire 2011 season following a devastating knee injury suffered in Spring Training that year, and he battled knee and foot injuries in '12.

"I've been pretty happy with it," he said. "I've been feeling physically pretty good. I've been thankful and lucky for that, and I just keep getting my work in so I can finish the season healthy and as strong as I can."

Castro has started at catcher in 82 of the Astros' games this year and also has made 11 starts at designated hitter.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for 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.