April 3, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Former Portland Pilots standout Kory Casto received the phone call of a lifetime on Tuesday as the Washington Nationals recalled the outfielder from Triple-A Columbus with plans to start him in left field against the Florida Marlins tonight. Casto will be the Nationals' regular left fielder in Nook Logan's absence.
The Nationals placed Logan on the 15-day disabled list after he collided with the center-field wall and jammed his foot during Washington's opening-day game against Florida on Monday. Logan is expected to miss three weeks.
"It's unfortunate that Logan got hurt, but this is a tremendous opportunity for Kory," Portland head baseball coach Chris Sperry said. "We're all thrilled for him and we're looking forward to watching him play in the big leagues for many years to come."
With Casto in left, regular left-fielder Ryan Church will move to center field. The team is impressed by Casto's patience at the plate and his ability to play left field, right field, third base and first base well. Casto was the last cut out of Spring Training because Church and outfielder Chris Snelling were out of Minor League options. Casto would not have made the Opening Day roster unless Logan had started the season on the DL.
Casto, who has been named the Nationals' Minor League Player of the Year the past two seasons, ranks third all-time at Portland in home runs (30) and RBI's (141), sixth in total bases (330), eighth in slugging percentage (.526) and doubles (41), ninth in runs scored (112) and tenth in hits (199). The Aurora, Ore. native spent three years on The Bluff (2001-03) and was the highest draft pick out of the West Coast Conference in the 2003 MLB draft when the Montreal Expos selected him in the third round.
Casto spent last season with Double-A Harrisburg (Pa.), where he hit .272 with 20 home runs and 80 RBI's.