On Saturday, the Houston Astros claimed infielder Robel Garcia off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels. This acquisition comes to fill the 40-man roster once again, as Garcia takes the spot of Justin Verlander who is on his way to the 60-day injured list.
Although the Astros do have a few names among their non-roster invites looking to make the 40-man roster, the team looked to add infield depth within their AAA system, as this is their lacking area. Garcia, who still has options, could be the new replacement to Jack Mayfield, who was claimed by the Atlanta Braves and then by the Angels this offseason; almost like a flip of infield utility.
The Astros add optionable infield depth with the claim of Robel Garcia.
The 40-man roster is full once again, but there are two MLB experienced players on the non-roster invite who are looking to make it into the lineup this season. Those two players are right-hander Steve Cishek and outfielder Steven Souza Jr. While being two of the three former Tampa Bay Ray signings this offseason, they are hitting spring training on minor league deals, but their signings could’ve come as a low risk option while being so low in price or General Manager James Click wasn’t ready to manipulate the 40-man to add these two players.
This was Garcia’s fourth time being claimed by a team since July, as he has been on the Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, Angels and now Astros. While 27-years-old, the right-hander has only played in one major league season in 2019 with the Chicago Cubs. Through 80 plate appearances, it is obvious Garcia relies on power as he slashed .208/.275/.500 while five home runs made up for his 15 total hits. He is not a huge walk guy either as he strikeouts five times to each base on balls, and this is obvious by his low on base percentage.
Garcia can play the corner outfields and most of the infield positions, which will come in handy when players fall to injury during the regular season or if the Astros expand their roster during double-headers.
The Astros have been big fans with players having the ability to play multiple positions. Recently, Bench Coach Joe Espada spoke on Yordan Alvarez working out at first base, while also being high on Jose Altuve’s throws after a rough postseason.