ST. PETERSBURG -- The chance to catch for Jake Buchanan in his Major League debut on Saturday meant some extra homework for Carlos Corporan, who spent some time with the rookie pregame to hammer home the gameplan against the Rays.
Corporan did not catch Buchanan much this spring, but he is no stranger to this situation. He was behind the plate when Jarred Cosart threw eight scoreless innings in his Major League debut on July 12, 2013, at Tropicana Field.
"I remember him throwing like five or six balls past me warming up," Corporan said. "He was nervous. I had to tell him to have fun."
That's why Corporan said his main task Saturday was calming down Buchanan and making him understand that what he was doing at Triple-A would work in the Majors.
"When you're a rookie and you're going to make your Major League debut, you're not going to come here and shake off your catcher," Corporan said. "I put more value on the job I'm going to do today because I have to work double because he's relying on me."
Buchanan, 23, was 6-4 with a 3.54 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) at Triple-A, including a shutout on May 20. He last pitched Sunday against Las Vegas and gave up five runs in seven innings. Astros manager Bo Porter said Buchanan would make only one start before being sent back down.
Timing of debut 'meant to be' for Buchanan's wife
ST. PETERSBURG -- Chelsa Messinger, the weekday sports anchor at the CBS television affiliate in Fort Myers, is no stranger to being around baseball players or major sporting events. But Saturday's game between the Rays and the Astros represented something much more significant than anything she had ever covered.
The game marked the Major League debut of Astros pitcher Jake Buchanan, who dated Messinger for more than five years before they were married in January. She had to drive only about 110 miles to see her husband for the first time in two months.
"It couldn't have worked out any better," she said. "The fact that his start is here as opposed to Seattle on a Tuesday or something, I feel like it was meant to be. It's been a long time coming, and I think a lot of people never would have guessed he would have gotten called up this year, especially with all the prospects in the Houston system."
Messinger said she cried for 30 minutes when she found out early Friday her husband got the callup from Triple-A. She was at Tropicana Field on Saturday with friends Eric Downs and Preston Tyson and Buchanan's parents, Buck and Sonda Buchanan. His sister, Amanda, and his niece, Tenley, were also on hand.
Buchanan, an eighth-round Draft pick in 2010, met Messinger in a dining hall at North Carolina State, where they were both athletes. She was a swimmer and a political science major who eventually got sidetracked in a journalism career.
"It's nice that we have careers that we all move around a lot," she said. "We have kind of similar paths almost. I have to move up every two years, and he likes to move up every year. He made it to the big leagues before me."
The big leagues for Messinger represents a job with a national network or in a Top 25 media market. She previously covered ACC baseball in North Carolina and knows her sports, breaking down the top prospects in the Astros system.
"I thought for sure they'd call up Trop or Folty," she said, referring to Nick Tropeano and Mike Foltynewicz, rated the Nos. 16 and 5 prospects in the Astros' system by MLB.com. "I feel like [Buchanan] has really had to work his way up and prove people wrong. He was drafted by the old regime, and it made him prove himself. He had the lowest ERA in the Cape Cod League above Chris Sale and some big-time guys like that, and he still got drafted in the eighth round because he doesn't throw 103 [mph]."
Surprisingly, Messinger and Buchanan don't talk much baseball when they are together, though she does urge her husband to try to open up more when talking to reporters.
"He's a really introverted person," she said. "He could pitch the best game of his life and be very even-keeled and not think it's a big deal. On the flip side, he'll pitch a bad game and not be bothered by it. He's not emotional on the mound, and that really helps."
Peacock on track to make next turn in rotation
ST. PETERSBURG -- Astros right-hander Brad Peacock, who was scratched from his start Saturday after battling food poisoning earlier in the week, threw lightly in the bullpen Saturday and said he would be available in relief beginning Sunday.
Peacock was briefly hospitalized early Monday after coming down with a case of food poisoning, which caused him to lose some weight and be away from the team for a couple of days. He said he could have pitched Saturday but understood the team's decision.
"They are trying to protect me and gave me a couple of extra days of rest," he said. 'I didn't want to go out there and only two innings and hurt the bullpen."
Astros manager Bo Porter said Peacock would be slotted back into the end of the rotation when it turns over beginning with Scott Feldman's start on Tuesday. Peacock is 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA this year in 14 games, including 10 starts.
Corporan has first of two expected starts for Castro
ST. PETERSBURG -- After he fouled a ball off his left knee Friday night and had some issues getting into a squat, catcher Jason Castro was in the lineup at designated hitter Saturday, with Carlos Corporan making the first of what was planned to be two consecutive starts behind the plate.
Castro, who entered Saturday hitting .221 with six homers and 31 RBIs, took batting practice Saturday without any issues, but he could use a day without catching.
"It really only bothers me to squat," he said. "I've been dealing with some stuff here and there. That's just catching, though. If it's not one thing, it's something else, it seems like. The good thing is I haven't been getting hit by pitches as much at the plate. So that's always nice, not having to deal with that and the stuff from catching."
Corporan started at catcher for the first time since Sunday and was scheduled to start consecutive games because manager Bo Porter planned to give Castro a day off Sunday. It would be the first time Corporan had started consecutive days at catcher since May 8-9. The team will be off Monday.
"[Castro's] body will be fresh with the off-day on Sunday," Porter said. "Castro can DH today, take tomorrow off and Corporan gets to catch back-to-back days and then gets a day off. It keeps everybody fresh."
• Astros right-hander Anthony Bass is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at Class A Quad Cities on Sunday. Bass, 26, is 1-0 with two saves and a 4.50 ERA in 15 appearances, totaling 18 innings, for Houston this season. He was placed on the disabled list May 14 (backdated to May 11) with a right intercostal strain.