By now, everyone knows that Abraham Toro’s tenure with the Houston Astros has come to a close, as the utility man was traded to the Seattle Mariners. This was an inevitable departure, as Toro’s trade value heavily increased since his most recent call up in response to Alex Bregman’s injury.
With Toro out, the switch-hitter homered as a pinch hitter on Tuesday which was ironic since he hit a home run with the Astros on Monday. Toro has a couple more years of team control, as he could be a replacement at third base with Kyle Seager’s contract expiring.
Abraham Toro is out of the picture, but what will the bench look like?
On Tuesday, Robel Garcia and Taylor Jones were left out of the Sugar Land Skeeters’ lineup, as Garcia returned to the active roster but now there is a rumor that Jones was traded to the Chicago Cubs. We don’t know the legitimacy of this report, but the Twitter user has reported news on Jones before, this season.
Fans were upset on social media, as Toro was dealt. This was going to happen with his trade value rising, and the fact that Garcia and Taylor didn’t hold the same value at the deadline. But it is up to these two to provide the extra line of depth alongside Aledmys Diaz.
With Diaz finally back in the lineup, it was the best time to ship Toro out. The right-hander can play first base, some outfield and the rest of the infield, so the Astros are in a good spot when Bregman returns.
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If Taylor was traded, the Astros wouldn’t have any minor-league players to call up to fill a utility role unless you count Garrett Stubbs. A trade would most likely keep the 40-man roster full, and not leave a spot to move either Alex De Goti or CJ Hinojosa to the roster without a corresponding DFA or trade.
More recently, the Astros have turned to a nine-man bullpen, minimizing the bench to three (Chas McCormick, Jason Castro and Garcia). When Bregman is activated, it will be interesting if Garcia is optioned or a reliever like Brandon Bielak is instead. With the bullpen retooling, the ball club could turn to a more traditional eight-man unit.
Garcia has shown inconsistencies this season, but with Toro out of the picture, the Astros will most likely stick with the other switch-hitter. They can always DFA Garcia if he continues to slump and replace him with a Triple-A hand, if they don’t add anyone before the trade deadline. I don’t think Garcia has a lot of trade value, but he could always be a throw in for one of the many effective Chicago Cub relievers alongside someone like Taylor Jones.
The Astros snuck past the Mariners on Tuesday, 8-6. They are back in action to close out the series on Wednesday at 2:40 p.m. with Jake Odorizzi countering left-hander Yusei Kikuchi.