Brian McCann returns to the Astros lineup but could end Federowicz’s time in Houston.
While this is not exactly breaking news, it was nice to see Brian McCann back with the Astros last night. Justin Verlander didn’t have his typical start with McCann calling the game, but he did get his eighth win of the year. While the knee soreness was not a big deal, it was nice for McCann to get a 10-day breather before returning to the lineup. It helped that Max Stassi was having a strong season and could fill in for McCann.
When McCann hit the DL, there was no discussion on having Evan Gattis catching in his place. While Gattis is more than capable of catching, he has not worked with the pitchers much this year. In an emergency situation though, AJ Hinch will not hesitate to use the DH/third catcher. Alyson Footer reported that McCann was officially activated.
While McCann was on the shelf, Tim Federowicz got the chance to show what he could do. He only played in two games, going 1 for 7 with a double. With the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, Federowicz batted .337 with five homers and 18 RBIs. This is not surprising because he is a career .292 hitter with 92 homers in the minor leagues. However, he has not been able to make the next step in the majors.
Federowicz was out of options, so he accepted the promotion knowing that it was a limited time. When McCann was ready to return, the writing was on the wall that Federowicz would have to be designated for assignment. If he clears waivers, the Astros would like to keep him as a depth option. They do have Garrett Stubbs at Triple-A waiting in the wings, but they would like him to get more playing time in Triple-A.
McCann is batting .220 with four homers and 14 RBIs.
Stassi is batting .265 with five homers and 17 RBIs.
On a side note, if the Astros had any inkling that they wanted to trade for J.T. Realmuto, they may need to investigate it. There could be some interest between the Marlins and the Nationals or potentially the Brewers. Trading for Realmuto would require a haul and may be easier in the offseason. Unless there is a major injury to McCann, Realmuto may not be needed this year. Things can change.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***