8/21/2013 1:14 A.M. ET
Memorable debut for Stassi includes two hits
DH also commits rare baserunning mistake in eventful first game
By Master Tesfatsion / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- It'll be tough for Max Stassi to forget his first Major League hit.
Stassi got the start as the designated hitter on Tuesday at Rangers Ballpark and collected his first career hit in the fifth inning off Jason Frasor. But Stassi then made a baserunning mistake that he'd never made before.
The rookie slid safely into second on a ground ball as Frasor fielded, then sailed the throw over Elvis Andrus' head covering the bag. But Stassi thought Andrus had made the catch to complete the force and stepped off the bag to start walking back to the dugout. Ian Kinsler alertly tagged Stassi from behind to record the second out of the inning.
"I slid in and lost track of the ball," Stassi said. "I thought [Andrus] was on second, and the ball went past him. That's totally on me, and it's something that'll never happen again in my career. It just so happened on my debut.
"It didn't feel too good, especially in a close ballgame."
The Astros were leading 2-1 at the time, but eventually lost, 4-2. The incident prompted a teaching moment for Stassi from Astros manager Bo Porter and third-base coach Dave Trembley.
"It's a lesson well learned," Porter said. "When you are a forceout, do not leave that base without knowing from the umpire that you are out."
Stassi reiterated that it would be the first and last time the incident occurs in his career, but the mental mistake didn't hamper Stassi in his next at-bat. He collected his second single in the seventh and became the 12th player in franchise history and the second this year to record two or more hits in his Major League debut. Robbie Grossman accomplished the feat on April 24 against the Mariners. Stassi finished 2-for-3, striking out in his first at-bat against former Astros pitcher Travis Blackley in the second inning.
"I was really excited to be out there," Stassi said. "After my first at-bat, I started to get settled in and slowed the game down a little bit.
"I was just taking it in. It's the only time it's going to happen in my career, my first night. I was just enjoying it and trying to make the most of it."
Stassi was called up earlier Tuesday from Double-A Corpus Christi when Carlos Corporan was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list. Stassi will serve as backup to starting catcher Jason Castro
"It's great for him," Tuesday's starting pitcher Jarred Cosart said. "I got my first taste this year. I was able to get a win in my first outing. That's a little different for hitters. He's going to get his at-bats and have plenty opportunities, but to come up in the first game and after the first at-bat get the jitters out of the way. He put together two good at-bats off two tough pitchers. To get the first two out of the way is good, now he can probably relax and look forward."
Stassi and pitcher David Martinez both were still amazed to receive their first big league call-up on Tuesday.
"It was unexpected," Stassi said before the game. "I was just hanging out on an off-day at Sonic with a couple teammates in Double-A. Next thing I know, my phone is ringing and it's my manager, Keith Bodie, and he's telling me to pack my stuff and I'm heading to Arlington. It was a pretty exciting time."
Stassi was named the Texas League Player of the Month in July, hitting .333 with 11 home runs and 24 RBIs in 24 games for Corpus Christi. He has also been named Texas League Player of the Week twice this year. Stassi is slugging .529 this season with 17 home runs and 60 RBIs overall, and he credits his routine for his Minor League success this year.
Martinez was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier this month. He has a combined 14-3 record with a 2.20 ERA in 28 appearances (20 starts). The product of the club's Venezuelan Academy, Martinez can give the Astros multiple innings out the bullpen. The Astros designated Wade LeBlanc for assignment as the corresponding move.
"I don't know what will happen with me, but I'm confident in myself," Martinez said of when he makes his Major League debut. "I'll just wait for the moment."
Corporan placed on concussion list, to see specialist
ARLINGTON -- The Astros placed catcher Carlos Corporan on the 7-day concussion disabled list on Tuesday. Corporan was with the team on Tuesday, but will meet with a specialist on Wednesday in Houston.
Corporan still felt dizzy a day after he was hit in the mask by a foul ball in the third inning of Monday's game. Corporan didn't pass the concussion test given by the trainers after he was replaced by Jake Elmore in the fourth inning.
"I told the trainer to re-do it [Tuesday], but they decided to put me on the 7-day DL," Corporan said. "If I get hit again, that'll be a severe consequence on my head.
"I thought I was fine after the game last night. I didn't feel that bad, but today I kind of feel it. I'm glad they made that decision."
Corporan said it was the first time he had sustained a concussion. The Astros selected catcher Max Stassi from Double-A Corpus Christi to serve as Jason Castro's backup.
"It's unfortunate for Corporan," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "We're very concerned about his well-being, as well. Whenever you start to talk concussions and slow to respond, it's something that we all take serious. That's why we were quick to react and go ahead and put him on the concussion DL and get Stassi here."
Corporan said he watched the replay of the hit and noticed his head cocked back on the play, causing the concussion. He said he was hit by a foul ball on Sunday and felt fine, but Corporan will look for additional protection whenever he returns behind the plate.
"It's scary, because you don't feel anything," Corporan said. "All the symptoms start coming together at the same time, so it's kinda scary. I feel funky, dizzy and nauseous. It's not fun at all."
Porter steals chance for a teachable moment
ARLINGTON -- The Astros had another teaching lesson during Monday's 16-5 blowout loss to the Rangers.
Texas scored its second run in the first inning on a double-steal with two outs. Shortstop Jonathan Villar had a play at second base to record the third out, but he didn't tag Adrian Beltre. It allowed Elvis Andrus to slide home safely.
"If you catch the ball and tag the guy, the inning is over," Porter said. "I think he got caught in between, 'Should I just throw the ball home, or should I just tag the guy?' The guy is right in front of your face. It's one of those things where if he catches the ball, and he tags him, obviously he hadn't made it home yet, the inning is over and the run doesn't count."
Porter took it upon himself to talk to Villar and the rest of the infielders, including both catchers, about the situation. The Astros have the youngest roster in the Majors with an average age of 25.8, and they have 14 rookies on their active roster.
"We talked about it from the standpoint of understanding the speed that is on the basepaths. If the out is there, you secure the out and come in and we hit. If you're that concerned, come straight forward, get the ball and throw it straight home, but don't be caught in-between.
"A very teachable moment. I don't think he'll do that if we were put in that situation again. I think he will handle it the proper way."
• Jake Elmore was not in the starting lineup on Tuesday, but he was available after he played catcher and pitcher in Monday's game.
• Stassi was the 13th player to make his Major League debut this season for the Astros.
• Andrus recorded the 29th steal of home for the Rangers. Porter recorded one during his only season with Texas, but he couldn't recall the event. "I'm getting old," Porter said. "You guys are asking me questions from 2001."
Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.