Astros: what could Kyle Tucker’s return look like?

Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

A 40-man roster move will have to be made to bring back Kyle Tucker, but how will it go down?

Kyle Tucker has lost close to 10 pounds since he hit the COVID-19 injured list, but it wasn’t for the virus. The Houston Astros outfielder is battling a stomach bug that has removed him not only from the everyday roster but also the 40-man.

While being bedridden for a few days, Danielle Lerner of the Houston Chronicle reported that Tucker returned to workouts on Friday. His batting practice went well, as he is expected to return during the Baltimore Orioles’ series starting Monday on the road.

To the 40-man

We don’t the know the corresponding move just yet to the 40-man roster, but the left-hander will most likely replace Garrett Stubbs on the active roster. The 26-man doesn’t have much need for a third catcher, and although Stubbs has other versatility at second base and in left field, Abraham Toro and Robel Garcia can handle that.

Tucker’s return date hasn’t been set, but it is anticipated in this three-game series. As I’m typing this, Tucker is probably already traveling with the team and the players know how the roster shook out. The issue stands that the 40-man is currently full, after Francis Martes was reinstated and optioned, so who falls for Tucker?

The clear answer without designating a player for assignment would be placing either Tyler Ivey or Kent Emanuel on the 60-day injured list. Both pitchers will not be taking their talents to the major leagues again this season due to their respected injuries. Although these two seats were anticipated to help bring back Austin Pruitt, Pedro Baez or Josh James, more trades and DFAs could be in the near future with all of this shuffling. Alex Bregman and Aledmys Diaz are also out for “a while,” so they could be candidates down the stretch since it would retroactive to their injuries.

Manager Dusty Baker has stated that the team is looking at Martes as possible relief health, and last time he pitched in the majors, the Astros won the World Series. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.

Whenever Tucker returns, the Astros should hold out until the day off with the optioning of Stubbs. It always helps to keep one more option on the bench if needed.

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The Outfield

Chas McCormick has taken a big jump to fill-in wherever needed. From grit to determination, the outfielder is an old fashioned baseball player; he continues to fulfill the dream that every kid once had and does it the right way.

He might not see much playing time when Tucker returns, and even with Myles Straw boosting his own offensive production, McCormick continues to breathe down his neck. In the eyes of Baseball Savant, McCormick doesn’t have the adequate number of at-bats to rank among every category of hitting, but he stands one percentile less in sprint speed compared to Straw at 94.

In outfield jump, McCormick is in the 97th percentile and Straw is in the 73rd, which has been another improvement of his game. Baker has pointed to Straw as the better defender, but it is also his job to lose. We could see more of McCormick over the span of the Summer, but it is still Straw’s job in center.

Next. 3 players bolstering depth in response to injuries. dark

In other outfield news, the Astros signed Daniel Familia to a minor-league contract. The 18-year-old doesn’t have much to his name, as he was assigned to the DSL Astros.