Baltimore Orioles catcher Welington Castillo has been placed on the 10-day disabled list after a foul ball struck his groin during Tuesday’s game against the New York Yankees, the team announced Wednesday morning.
Castillo was having a terrific first season behind the plate for the Orioles before the unfortunate accident on Wednesday. He is batting .317 with four home runs and 17 RBI in 120 at-bats this season. His .317 batting average is the highest on the team among qualifying players. Catchers are hard to come by. Fantasy owners should ride out the injury.
The Orioles will now start Caleb Joseph behind the plate until the team’s offseason acquisition is able to return. He is batting .253 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 83 at-bats this season. He has stepped in for Matt Wieters was injured several times over the course of the past few seasons and never showed potential to be a fantasy asset. Fantasy owners can steer clear of Baltimore’s catcher situation, if they are not holding on to Castillo that is.
The team promoted 27-year-old Francisco Pena to provide depth at catcher, but his few at-bats at the Major League level this season have shown he can hit too. Pena has four hits in seven at-bats, including two home runs, this season. He has the potential to provide more fantasy value, via his power potential, than Joseph. But the fact that he will be backing up Joseph and Castillo’s absence is expected to be a short one, he can stay off fantasy owner’s radars.
The Orioles will miss his team-leading batting average in the middle of the order. While the Orioles are still hitting home runs, several players are struggling to hit for average this season. Castillo joins Trey Mancini as the only other player that is hitting over .275 that is consistently in the starting lineup.
In fact, Castillo has the highest batting average in the American League among qualifying catchers. This injury is a minor bump in the road for a player having a great season, and one who is hitting his way into a big payday this offseason.