Astros’ outfield takes a bite from the injury bug

Mandatory Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Houston Astros have recalled Chas McCormick from Triple-A Sugar Land with Michael Brantley hitting the shelf.

Manager Dusty Baker said on SportsTalk 790 on Tuesday the Houston Astros are placing Michael Brantley on the injured list. The left fielder left Sunday’s contest with the New York Yankees early with right-shoulder discomfort.

As a corresponding move, the Astros recalled Chas McCormick from Triple-A Sugar Land. McCormick was optioned for the first time in his career Sunday as the club activated Jeremy Peña from the 10-day injured list.

McCormick didn’t report to the Space Cowboys on Sunday but was expected to join the club in Albuquerque prior to Brantley’s injury. The 27-year-old is slashing .219/.291/.394 on the season with a 95 OPS+ — five points below the league average.

Offering depth at all three outfield positions, McCormick would likely pick up innings in left field with Brantley out. The Astros have extended Mauricio Dubon from center field to left field more recently, offering a plethora of lineup options for Baker who also has Yordan Alvarez, Aledmys Diaz and J.J. Matijevic as possibles for left field.

McCormick added 14 Defensive Runs Saved for the Astros in 2021, according to FanGraphs. The lefty thrower sits with -1 on the 2022 season but still ranks in the 86th percentile of Outs Above Average and in the 93rd percentile of Outfielder Jump, according to Baseball Savant.

Brantley is slashing .288/.370/.416 on the year with a 127 OPS+. The lefty has launched five home runs this season — more than half the amount he hit during the 2021 season. Playing only left field and also hitting as the designated hitter, Brantley hasn’t played in eight of the 72 games for the Astros this season.

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In the field, Brantley has two DRS on the season while not qualifying for OAA and Outfield Jump by Baseball Savant.

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