Catcher, Jobduan Morales, who was acquired from the Miami Marlins for OF Justin Ruggiano earlier this season, has been seeing an increase in playing time at first base over the past few weeks. Having Morales comfortable playing two positions will certainly help his versatility. Morales is currently with the Tri City Valley Cats up in New York where he has played pretty well since being acquired by the Astros. He has a .289 batting average with 5 home runs and 25 RBI thus far.
Primarily a catcher who had played some first base with Miami’s minor league affiliates, Morales has seen an increase of playing time at 1B for Tri City. Per the article linked earlier, the Astros feel like he could play at a higher level in the organization but want him to work on his throwing and play some more first base before a promotion occurs.
As everyone knows by now, after the trade occurred, Ruggiano went on an absolute tear for the Marlins, both offensively and defensively. There really was no way of knowing that he would have this kind of breakout season and I put zero fault at the feet of Jeff Luhnow for not realizing this. Look, Ruggiano is a 30 year old OF who has drifted through a few organizations and was lamenting down at AAA OKC when the trade went down. In Morales, the Astros received a young catcher with a nice bat and good enough defense. The Astros system did and still does lack good catching depth. This was a win-win trade for both clubs.