PITTSBURGH -- Astros rookie catcher Jason Castro will trade in his scouting reports at the end of the season for text books.
Castro has re-enrolled at Stanford University in an attempt to finish his degree in sociology with an emphasis on business and the economy. The Astros drafted Castro in the first round in 2008 out of Stanford, leaving Castro about four classes shy of earning a degree.
"I'm so close to finishing and to get a degree from anywhere is really an important thing," Castro said. "You can't play baseball forever. We all like to think we're going to play a long career, but it's good to have a backup plan. It's an accomplishment not everyone gets to necessarily get. I'm so close, there's no reason why I shouldn't go back."
Castro plans to take two classes this quarter and then two more hopefully next offseason. The season ends next Sunday, then Castro plans to be in class on Wednesday in an attempt to cram for exams that will take place shortly thereafter.
"A huge thing in my family is the importance of an education," he said. "They really stressed to me how important it was to finish, and I'm going to make sure I can do everything I can to get that done."
Third-base coach Clark set to manage
PITTSBURGH -- It won't be much of an offseason for Astros third-base coach Dave Clark, who earlier this year was named manager of the Licey Tigers club in the Dominican Winter League. Clark will head to the Dominican Republic on Oct. 17, five days ahead of the start of the two-month regular season.
"I'll get a chance to be with the guys for four of five days for the workouts," Clark said. "I'm really looking forward to doing it."
Several players from the Astros' organization have committed to play for Clark, including pitchers Josh Banks and Henry Villar and infielder Anderson Hernandez. Pitchers Alberto Arias and Sammy Gervacio will join the team when healthy.
"It will be some of our guys and a mix of a lot of other guys, but as far as my roster and trying to make out a lineup, I wouldn't be able to do that yet," Clark said.
Clark served as Astros interim manager for the final 13 games of the 2009 season and has managed six seasons in the Minor Leagues and one season in the Hawaiian Winter League. During his six seasons (2003-08) as a Minor League manager, Clark won two league titles and twice was named Manager of the Year, first in '03 after guiding Class A Advanced Lynchburg to the Carolina League finals, and then in '06 after leading the Astros' Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks club to the Texas League championship.
He also won a league title in 2004, guiding the Class A Hickory Crawdads to the South Atlantic League championship. Clark managed four seasons in the Astros' system, spending three seasons at Corpus Christi ('05-07) before moving up to Triple-A Round Rock in '08. He became third-base coach for the Major League club in '09.
Myers' mind not on Phillies
PITTSBURGH -- With the Phillies set to clinch their fourth consecutive National League East division championship, Astros pitcher Brett Myers isn't having any mixed emotions about not being part of the fun after playing the previous eight seasons in Philadelphia.
"It doesn't bother me," Myers said. "I'm not on their team anymore. I'm over here and want to help this team win. For my friends over there, yeah, I kind of hope they do it. They're stacked to win. They built that team around hitting and now they're built around pitching, so they're kind of almost like the Yankees now. It's kind of hard not to win when you have all those top-name guys over there."
Myers, who's had a career year with the Astros, still keeps in touch with several of his former teammates in Philadelphia, but they shouldn't expect any congratulations from Myers after they clinch.
"I won't send text messages or anything like that," he said. "When I was over there we went to the World Series the past two years and it's almost expected now. They expect to go and that's how they prepare over there."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.