News and Notes from Yesterday
When Hernandez stepped onto the field Friday night, he became the 13th rookie to appear in a game for the Astros this season, the most in the majors. The New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals have each started 11 rookies. It might not have been a surprise to see this many young faces in September. Teams are known to give their younger guys a few starts in the last month of the season when the playoffs are out of sight.
With last night’s win, the Astros brought themselves with two games of the AL Wildcard and seven games behind the Rangers in the AL West. The Astros aren’t throwing in the towel. Rather they are improving their club from within with these talented young prospects.
Rather than spend these young players in the trade market, Jeff Luhnow decided to stand pat at the deadline. Since the deadline, the Astros have seen injuries to Lance McCullers, Luis Valbuena, Tyler White, Marwin Gonzalez, and Jake Marisnick. Those injuries thrust what feels like a third of the Fresno Grizzlies lineup into the starting lineup in Houston. Out of the ten starters on Friday night, four of them have played in Fresno this season: Bregman, Hernandez. Musgrove, and Tyler White.
A Bidding War for Carlos Gomez?
When Gomez was designated for assignment on Wednesday, the Astros fanbase was anxious for a clean break. According to major league rules, a player has ten days from being DFA’d to be traded or released. It looks like the Astros might be able to recoup some value from the struggling center fielder.
After the Mets had expressed interest yesterday, Mark Saxon reported that the Cardinals might be willing to kick the tires on the ten-year vet after an injury to Matt Holiday. This would be the best case scenario for the Astros who tried to give Gomez plenty of time to work through what had turned into a season-long slump.
His decline was so drastic that other teams can’t help but wonder if they might be able to “fix” the player who was in the MVP conversation as recently as 2014. Their curiosity might turn into a plus for the Astros down the line.
Yulieski Gurriel scheduled to make debut Tuesday
Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reported late Friday night that the Astros are planning to have Gurriel make his debut on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals. Through his first eight games in the Astros minor league system, the Cuban All-Star has a grand slam a respectable slash line: .321/.300/.536, that was before a 0-3 night on Friday.
When he reaches the majors, he will like to spend most of his times at designated hitter, moving to third base on days when others DH to get a rest from playing in the field. When Gurriel signed with the Astros last month, many assumed he would slide in at third immediately, but Bregman has flashed quite a bit of leather at the hot corner in his first few weeks with the big league club.
Bregman has made one appearance in left field with Houston, spending most of his time at third due to the injury to Valbuena. Regardless of where he lines up on the field, Astros fans are excited to get another .300 hitter into the lineup to join MVP candidate Jose Altuve (and new center fielder Hernandez).
*** Stats from Baseball-Reference ***