A recent injury to a 40-man rostered infielder paves a path for the Astros to add Franklin Barreto.
According to multiple reports Friday, Houston Astros first baseman Taylor Jones was sidelined with a back issue. Jones, who is on his final year of minor-league options, is now out of contention to make the Opening Day roster, while his injury sounds longterm according to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.
Opening Day is scheduled for April 7, leaving the Astros with one less infielder to choose from. Of non-roster invites, recently signed Franklin Barreto’s case to make the 28-man roster increased with Friday’s report.
What looked to be insurance to the injured Edwin Diaz, Barreto is displaying a respectable spring by standard metrics, accounting for a late-game two-run homer and no strikeouts in a limited five at-bats.
Barreto hasn’t played at the major-league level since 2020, where he split time with the Oakland A’s and the Los Angeles Angels. The once top-prospect is without minor-league options, making his stay on a 40-man roster even less optimal given his recent track record.
But most of his major-league innings at second base and shortstop, the 26-year-old offers the extended depth that Robel Garcia, Abraham Toro and Jacob Wilson brought in 2021.
With the longterm outlook of Taylor’s injury, the Astros have three possible 60-day injured list candidates with Jake Meyers and Lance McCullers Jr., although not having reported timetables on returns.
If the Astros decide to look to the outfield for a final position player addition instead, Lewis Brinson would be next in line, battling for innings in centerfield with Jose Siri and Chas McCormick.
Right-handed pitching prospect Jonathan Sprinkle was assigned to the Astros on Friday, although not appearing in the team’s eighth-straight victory. In the National League East, Garrett Stubbs looks to be the Philadelphia Phillies backup catcher to open the year.