Astros: benefits of optioning Ralph Garza Jr. during break

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

With the All-Star break in full swing, the Houston Astros optioned Ralph Garza Jr. without a corresponding move after Sunday’s competition. It was a minor move, but why wasn’t anyone recalled?

The bullpen was running on nine arms, which is one more than the traditional eight. With Garza Jr. going down after taking his first big-league win on Sunday, it leaves him ample time to get back to Sugar Land, stick with the team until the end of their homestand on Tuesday, then travel to Albuquerque. Their series with the Isotopes starts Thursday, as they continue their road trip the following week in Oklahoma City against the Dodgers.

With Ralph Garza Jr. being optioned, who is in line to be called up?

In a different year for MiLB, there will be no All-Star Game or break for the players. There are no playoffs nor a championship, but makeup games are for some reason still in play.

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At the moment, the Astros have two pitchers on rehab assignments in Triple-A, who are nearing the end of their rehab clocks. This 30-day period comes to end on the 15th, this Thursday, for Austin Pruitt. The right-hander targeted a return right after the All-Star break, so a final appearance could be tough to fit in after a long outing on Friday.

Pruitt was the final trade made by former general manager Jeff Luhnow, and while having ties to James Click in Tampa Bay, there isn’t evidence that he is would be DFA’d. While not having options, Pruitt will need to be added back to the 40-man roster, that actually has two open spots right now.

With Carlos Correa and Brooks Raley on the 10-day injured list due to health and safety protocol, they don’t count against the 40-man. These two will most likely be ready by Friday, easily adding them back to the roster. Pruitt could take Tyler Ivey’s (possible season-ending injured), who would move to the 60-day IL.

For the case of Josh James, he has another scheduled outing on Monday, which could be his final one of his assignment. In the case of a roster spot, there isn’t a clean cut way to bring him back to the 40-man roster, as a trade, DFA or service clock adjustment will have to take place.

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