Astros: How could a Michael Papierski promotion affect the roster?

(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /

The Astros brought up the idea of possibly promoting catcher Michael Papierski, who is currently not on the 40-man roster.

As the Houston Astros wait on a second opinion on Jason Castro’s knee injury, manager Dusty Baker flashed the idea of the organization possibly promoting Triple-A catcher Michael Papierski to the 40-man as the roster also expands in September.

While a close friend of Alex Bregman and loved by rehabbing pitchers, Papierski has also been on the taxi squad this year at the start of the season, when COVID-19 worries affected the team. The switch-hitter has slashed to a .258/.403/.396 tune through 86 games this season.

The Astros are currently carrying three catchers on the 40-man roster, and while we don’t know the first prognosis on Castro’s knee, we can’t anticipate how long he will be out. If the injury is season-ending, then there is a clear cut move to add Papierski to the 40-man roster and place Castro on the 60-day injured list.

While Garrett Stubbs is back up in the major-leagues, Papierski offers more offense with power and a reliable bat. Stubbs’ versatility hasn’t been used as much as it could be, but if come to it, either him, Robel Garcia or Jacob Wilson, who sustained a concussion on Friday in Triple-A, could be in line to be designated for assignment.

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Stubbs has another option year left which should keep him on the roster, but even with pitchers injured, we are uncertain what their current status is on possible returns. So, moving either Pedro Baez or Rafael Montero to the 60-day IL is certainly a possible discussion.

Papierski can flash the glove at first as well, but a start on the taxi squad could be the first step. Although not on the 40-man roster, Papierski can still join the taxi squad but would require a 40-man move before playing in the major-leagues.

If Papierski jumps to the majors, the Triple-A catching room will run thinner with Colton Shaver being the only option. In Double-A, Korey Lee remains on the 7-day IL with an oblique injury and Scott Manea is out for the year with a broken hand. This leaves two unexperienced catchers in Cesar Salazar and Alex Holderbach, as options to be promoted.

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