It’s Jake day again for the Astros.
The Houston Astros made a move after the trade deadline by recalling Jake Marisnick. Kyle Tucker was optioned to Triple-A in the corresponding move, according to Brian McTaggart. This comes as no surprise with George Springer’s injury last night. While Springer is listed as day-to-day with shoulder soreness, he’s not expected to hit the DL, for now.
Last night, the Astros found themselves with an all-lefty outfield after Springer’s departure. While they won last night’s game 5-2, it set up matchup issues with Tony Kemp, Tucker, and Josh Reddick batting conclusively. It didn’t stop Reddick from crushing a two-run blast off Zach Duke. It was a situation that AJ Hinch can manage when setting the lineup, but they wanted a right-handed bat in the outfield.
Defense is needed with recent offensive struggles.
With Springer possibly out for a few days along with Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, the Astros may have wanted Marisnick’s elite defense in center field. The offense may be scarce, so they need all the help they can get to limit the opposition. The question is, can he offer enough offensively after his early struggles?
Marisnick batted .192 with seven homers and 19 RBI before being sent down to Triple-A in favor of Tucker. He rejoined the Astros for a short stint but returned to Triple-A. Marisnick struggled with strikeouts with 70 in 156 at-bats in the majors. Has he cut back on that in Triple-A?
He batted .323 with three homers and eight RBI in 65 at-bats via Baseball-Reference. With 15 strikeouts in Triple-A, he cut his strikeouts rate in half from 44% to 23%. Granted, that’s versus minor league arms, but hopefully, he developed some better habits at the plate. It was just a matter of time that he returned to the 25-man roster. This may have been in the works before Springer left the game.
Tucker is gone, but not forgotten.
As far as Tucker, this is not the last we will see from him. Now that’s he’s got a taste of what it takes, he will work on that in Triple-A. For whatever reason, it seemed like Hinch was not ready to trot him out every day. You can understand him sitting versus some left-handers, but he was also sitting versus right-handed pitchers.
If you are not going to play him, then he needs to play every day in Triple-A and develop more. In 45 at-bats, Tucker batted .156 with three RBI via Baseball-Reference. Jeff Luhnow said they would wait until 50 at-bats to evaluate Tucker, but I think Springer’s injury changed their thinking.
We will see Tucker again in September or before if needed. The second top Astros prospect will contribute to the team’s success soon. For now, he needs to develop a little more. Let’s hope we play well again today to keep Seattle in our rearview mirror. Marisnick is back in the lineup batting ninth and in center field today.