Astros' Stassi expected back in lineup soon

Hinch has updates on catcher's wrist, McCann's knee surgery

July 4th, 2018

ARLINGTON -- Astros catcher , who exited in the first inning of Tuesday's win over the Rangers when he was hit on the right wrist by a pitch and suffered a contusion, could return to the starting lineup in the next day or two, manager AJ Hinch said Wednesday.

Stassi had some swelling and an indention of baseball stitch marks on his wrist postgame Tuesday and had some limited mobility but was feeling better Wednesday, Hinch said. Tim Federowicz was called up from Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday and played the final eight innings behind the plate in place of Stassi, and started Wednesday's finale in Arlington, going 1-for-4 with a double in the Astros' 5-4 win in 10 innings.

"He's going to do maybe a little more than we anticipated today," Hinch said of Stassi. "The thing with contusions is there's really nothing to do other than work out a little bit of the soreness. He's a catcher. He'll be tough. He'll figure it out. I hope to play him in the next day or so."

Stassi will be the Astros' primary catcher for the next several weeks after veteran had surgery on his right knee Tuesday. McCann is expected to miss significant time following the surgery.

"One thing we learned is how long he's been dealing with this over the course of the season and even over the last year or so," Hinch said. "He's had trouble with his knee over time. We've had it drained a couple of times, then he had a surgery. They called it a 'cleanup,' where they just removed some issues he had, and now he's on the mend already. I think he's going to Minute Maid [Wednesday] to get going and begin the process of getting himself back.

"Timetables are really hard with these things. We know it's going to be an extended period of time. We knew it's over a month. That doesn't mean it will be simply a month. We think we're going to lose him for a significant period of time. But the reports from our doctors is things were positive and went even better than expected."

Hinch said the Astros don't expect to use designated hitter Evan Gattis at catcher more than he already has played this year, which is minimal. Gattis has caught 245 games in the big leagues, including a few innings earlier this year at the end of a couple of games.

"I think Gattis is still available as a third catcher," Hinch said. "I like what he's doing as a DH, and I want him to do that. Stassi and 'Fed' will get the innings behind the plate. Gattis caught a bullpen [session Wednesday] and is still doing minimal things to keep himself viable, but not as a primary catcher."