The platooning of Robel Garcia and Abraham Toro has been heavily shifted to the shoulders of Toro in recent weeks. With Alex Bregman and Aledmys Diaz on the injured list, the two utility men were tasked a new workload, but Garcia has lacked in offensive production.
After three consecutive starts in Chicago, Toro got the day off on Monday, although accounting for two of the team’s last four hits and the sole run in their past two games. The Houston Astros have seen an up and down month from Toro, but with an already shortened bench, Garcia isn’t proving much.
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After an 0-for-4 night on Monday, how much longer does Robel Garcia have with the Astros?
A switch-hitting utility man that carries all the infield gloves and possibly some outfielder innings was a great resume for Garcia entering the season. Since he was claimed off waivers in early spring training, the 28-year-old has only seen one minor league stint that didn’t last longer than a week.
While minor league infield depth looked to be his expected task, Garcia is now hitting .148/.208/.216 through 88 at-bats in his second major-league season. His sneaky left-handed pop has only been seen once, but I would like to point out that Martin Maldonado’s RBI-single on Monday doesn’t happen without Garcia moving the runner over.
There is always more to the box score, and for Garcia, he looks beloved by his teammates in the dugout. But for Astros’ fans, they won’t let him forget his mistakes, as expected. The switch-hitter has only one hit for the month of July, and although limited at-bats and the break play into it, Garcia has been cold at the plate all season.
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A roster shuffle is coming with pitchers returning and Diaz on his rehab assignment. For Garcia, he should take the opportunity to fight in every at-bat, because his downward trend would lead to a DFA.
While Toro is showing trade value, the Astros need Garcia until Diaz is fully healthy, which brings up the question if the Astros need utility depth? If Toro is dealt and Garcia is DFA’d, who joins Diaz late in the season?
Garcia has been on waivers most of his tenure in the majors, so a trade for cash considerations or a player to be named later is slim. With a hefty amount of possible positions to play, the right-hander is sticking around for now.
If the Astros end up addressing his roster spot with a minor-league hand, C.J. Hinojosa and Alex De Goti would be the first two options. And in some crazy fashion, Pedro Leon could be thought of late in the season, if he tears through Triple-A. His call up would mainly focus on acclimation; I doubt they expect him to take on the role for the postseason.
The Astros snuck out of game one with the Cleveland Indians, 4-3. They continue action on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. with Luis Garcia countering right-hander Triston McKenzie.