The Astros need depth on their bench and a left-handed bat. If we'd told you at the start of the season who they would turn to in order to supply such a thing, it would have seemed impossible to believe.
But some things really are stranger than fiction.
The Astros are calling up Jon Singleton to join them in Baltimore.
Singleton is a familiar face in Houston. In 2013, Singleton was a top-20 prospect in the game across the board. The top prospect was supposed to bring prodigious power to the Astros lineup, but after being called up in 2014, hit only .171 with a .621 OPS in his 114 games in Houston.
After three positive drug tests, he was released from the organization in 2018, never having reached the heights he was projected to.
He's written quite a redemption story since. Over the last two years in AAA, Singleton has racked up 46 home runs and 37 doubles. He earned a brief call-up earlier this year with the Brewers, but struggled in a small sample size.
The Brewers designated Singleton for assignment in June. The Astros signed him to a minor-league contract one week later. He's done nothing but mash since. In 33 games with Sugar Land, he's hit .333 with 12 home runs and 28 RBI, posting an 1.138 OPS.
With the Astros bench so shallow, Singleton now has an opportunity to continue authoring his redemption story.
Amidst a terrible slump, the Astros optioned Corey Julks back to AAA. Singleton will take his spot on the active roster. A corresponding move will have to occur on the 40-man roster in order to make room for Singleton.
Defensive limitations will make it hard for Singleton to find consistent playing time outside of first base and DH. The Astros have been reluctant to limit José Abreu's time at first base, and Yainer Diaz is making it almost impossible to leave his bat out of the lineup at DH. Plus, Yordan Alvarez will have many DH days ahead as he continues to work his way back.
His light-tower power will give the Astros a much needed boost for late-game pinch hitters, offering them a lefty they've sorely missed out on all season.