Astros: Yuli Gurriel’s five game suspension opens door for Tyler White
Is Tyler White penciled in to replace Yuli Gurriel on the Astros Opening Day roster while he serves his suspension?
With spring training around the corner, the Astros are trying to finalize the final pieces of the 2018 roster. Our sister site, House of Houston, recently posted an article about Tyler White making the team over Derek Fisher. While I understand that Fisher is still relatively unproven, he is needed more on this team. They need another outfielder on the roster.
Nothing against a Jake Marisnick and Marwin Gonzalez platoon that takes away from both players value. You want a player like Gonzalez, who can relieve a starter at most positions. Marisnick can upgrade the defense with spot starts of late in games. You lose value with them set at one position. Hence why Fisher needs to be on the roster.
Last year in the playoffs, the Astros had to rely on Gonzalez in the outfield with Marisnick hurt and the others not producing. In a winner take all series, you go with the more proven hitter. During an extended season, you want to see what Fisher can do. If he struggles, you modify the roster at that point.
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Back to White.
Sorry, I went on a tangent there. Just trying to explain why Fisher makes the team over White. A.J. Reed could impress the team this Spring, but he is limited to first base and designated hitter. However, as JJ Cooper mentioned on Talking Stros Sunday, it is very telling that he wasn’t even a September call-up last year. With that being said, White should make the opening day roster in the place of Gurriel.
Gonzalez may start when the matchups are right, but the Astros could use that time to see what White can do. White can play first and third and has made a few cameos at shortstop in the minors. We all remember the time that White took the mound in an out of control game. White is a valuable player who could turn into a mini Gonzalez super utility player if he leaves via free agency.
Next: Astros: What we can expect from Derek Fisher in 2018
In a limited 61 at-bats last year, White had a slash line of .279/ .328/ .525/ .853 with three homers and ten runs batted in. He could be used in a few games versus left-handed pitchers while Gurriel is suspended. Whether he stays when Gurriel returns depends on how many pitchers the Astros want to carry. Thirteen seems to be the number, but it would be good to see White ut there for a few games.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***