KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros catcher Jason Castro hit his first homer of the spring Wednesday when he sent a Julio Teheran pitch over the left-field wall in the second inning of the Astros' 9-5 win over the Braves at Osceola County Stadium.
That was an encouraging sign for the veteran, who has been looking to be aggressive on fastballs in the zone and try not to over-swing. He slumped offensively last year when he hit .211 with 11 homers and 31 RBIs, and he is trying to get his offense on par with his stellar defense.
"I'm trying to stay within myself, inside the ball right now and try to build up more regular-type approaches," he said. "I'm pretty happy with the way my swing's been feeling, the adjustments I've made in the offseason and stuff. It allowed more freedom to make adjustments. As of right now, I'm trying to get my reps in and stay within myself. I've been happy with that."
Castro is more focused on the quality of swings -- as opposed to the results -- this time of year. He's been looking at a lot of video, and he has been going over checkpoints of his swing to make sure his mechanics are in the right place at the right time.
"Even if I'm not putting the ball in play -- even on foul balls and swings and misses -- the timing is a big component of it. But I'm looking right now at the actual mechanics of the swing from a physical standpoint and making sure I'm doing the right things I've been working on in the cage and batting practice and seeing if that will translate into a little bit more higher tempo in the game," Castro said. "I've been happy with that."