The Houston Astros took action on Sunday, completing the sweep of the Texas Rangers at home, 3-1. Before the contest, Garrett Stubbs was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land for Brooks Raley to return to the 26-man roster.
These moves can be confusing, especially with the COVID-19 injured list in play. Even if a player tests positive or not, they can be added to the 10-day Il due to health and safety protocol, removing them from the 40-man roster. For Carlos Correa and Raley, it was never clear if they ever tested positive or not, but Raley’s IL stint was extended due to personal situations.
Raley had to make his way back to the 40-man, while his original seat was taken by Austin Pruitt, who was activated off the 60-day IL. As a corresponding move, Ryan Hartman was designated for assignment.
The left-hander made one appearance with the Astros this season on June 30, where he worked 2.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits. Hartman was optioned the following day, and while never coming back up, he was rotational depth for a team dealing with minor-league injuries.
While Ryan Hartman was DFA’d, will he be claimed or traded?
Pedro Baez is currently out on his rehab assignment with the Skeeters, and while we don’t know when Josh James will be ready, these two 60-day IL pitchers will need 40-man spots open.
Tyler Ivey, Jairo Solis and Forrest Whitley are likely done for the season, but moving them to the 60-day IL would mean the Astros would have to pay them as MLB players rather than MiLB. It is almost like they are active roster players that aren’t playing; starting their service time clock.
It is hard to gauge how these two players will be added back to the roster, but with the trade deadline almost here, more moves will affect the 40-man by the end of the week. For Hartman, the 27-year-old will most likely not be claimed off waivers and outrighted to Triple-A. While this is my opinion, most teams are looking for high-leverage arms, rather than optionable arms with little experience.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
Hartman posted a 6.95 ERA over 22 innings in Triple-A, after being optioned earlier this month. These numbers most likely kept him out of contention of coming back up this season, especially with other pitchers returning.
The question now is, who is next to be DFA’d? Could pitchers like Ralph Garza Jr. and Nivaldo Rodriguez be the next ones out? Both haven’t had the most opportunities, while not looked to as often for depth.
With Aledmys Diaz joining the team for the upcoming road trip starting on Monday at 9:10 p.m. against the Seattle Mariners, we could expect Robel Garcia or a relief pitcher optioned as a corresponding move.
Abraham Toro has proved he can be major-league depth, while also boosting trade value. Alex Bregman is set to begin his rehab assignment with the Skeeters, but it is tough to anticipate the state of the roster for when he returns. The Astros will send Luis Garcia to the mound on Monday to start an eight-game road trip.