Looking ahead: Astros’ September call-ups


Take a good hard look at the September call-ups for the Astros because what you see in 2019 will not match what will happen next year and at least for the near future.

This season the same procedure will be followed as in previous years as teams can call up anyone on the 40 man roster on September 1 until the end of the regular season. Starting next season, the teams will have 26 man rosters, but can only expand them to 28 players, which will make next season a much more intriguing time. It also feels like that 28 player limit is a bit low. Doesn’t 30 sound like a more reasonable upper limit?

Teams can bring up the 15 extra players that would amount to 40 active players, but they never do as this gets unwieldy (plus they probably run out of seats in the dugout and the bullpen). However, it would not be surprising to see the Astros bring up one of their largest contingents of call-ups this time, especially with their recent overuse of their bullpen.

So, here’s a look at the Astros choices for call-ups. (Note: Lance McCullers Jr. who is on the 60 day IL does not count against the 40 man currently, while Aledmys Diaz and Josh James, who are on the 10 day IL do). It is assumed that both Diaz and James return to the active roster once well, but neither will likely return until after Sept. 1.

Slam dunks

  • Joe Biagini – Biagini may well be “called-up” this week rather than Sept. 1. He was only sent down because he had options and he pitched 3 innings earlier in the week.
  • Garrett Stubbs – The Astros will no doubt take advantage and bring up a third catcher to give Martin Maldonado and Robinson Chirinos some breathers down the stretch
  • Myles Straw – The Astros liked what they saw with Straw and his ability to get on base, tear around the bases and play the outfield in his earlier major league appearances
  • Kyle Tucker – Even though he may not get a ton of at bats, the Astros owe their top positional prospect some time in the majors after an up and down, but overall productive season in AAA (.268 BA/ .353 OBP/ .953 OPS / 32 HRs/ 93 RBIs/ 28 SBs)

Likely to get a callup

  • Jose Urquidy – Urquidy had a mixed bag in his mlb appearances, but the Astros will likely bring him up for spot starts or length out of the bullpen
  • Jack Mayfield – He was a poor hitter in his first stint in the majors, but he has hit well at AAA and he is the only infielder on the 40 man, who is not on the 25 man (other than the injured Diaz).  This will be doubly important if Diaz does not return in a timely manner.
  • Jose Armenteros – Yes, he had a lousy appearance the other day, but he has been pretty good at other times in his recent call-ups. The Astros need arms.
  • Framber Valdez – The Astros are so short on leftys that this makes quite a bit of sense to give Framber another go out of the ‘pen.

Likely to get bypassed

  • Brady Rodgers – After a rocky call-up to the big team, he pitched a few times at AAA, got hurt and has been pitching at Rookie ball lately.
  • Dean Deetz – Like a lot of pitchers he has been lit up at AAA (6.11 ERA) and is not likely to get the call.
  • Reymin Guduan – He is a lefty who throws hard, but he has not excelled in either the minors or for a cup of coffee in the majors this season
  • Cionel Perez – He got whacked around at AAA and the majors and is currently getting re-set at Rookie ball
  • Bryan Abreu – Of all the folks on this lower list, he is the one who has been pitching the best lately at AA and might get to follow-up on the one inning of shutout ball he threw with the Astros earlier in the season.

Please, note a couple things. The Astros might wait to promote some of these folks until whatever post season minor league run their team(s) may face. Also, note that if you want to promote someone not on this list (Abraham Toro anyone?) someone has to leave the 40 man to make space for him.

So, what do you think? How would you mold the September call-ups?

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55 comments on “Looking ahead: Astros’ September call-ups

  1. Astros could DFA Rodgers, and Guduan before September. Up until, let’s say three weeks ago, Deetz and Rondon were also DFA candidates. And by next season, Mayfield is another candidate to DFA, in addition to those we lose in Free Agency.

    Now, to what end this season to add to 40-man? Toro, Ivey, Bielak, and a few long shots — Sneed, Torres, Javier, Garza.

    Not that you wrote he was, but Biagini is no post-season slam dunk in my mind. I think Astros will absolutely need a LOOGY in the playoffs, and if Miley isn’t pushed out of the rotation, I’d give the edge to Framber based on his devastating curve ball and 60% ground ball rate. I also like Urquidy a lot for his very good control component. Abreu Deetz (improving) and Perez are definitely in the mix, as well. Good list, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooops, I seem to always forget Sneed is already on the 40-man.

    The other truly long shots are Nick Tanielu, Lorenzo Quintana and Brandon Bailey. Rogelio may have messed up his opportunity last outing.

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    • Not necessarily, since this is an option year. Baseball Resource says he has all 3.
      Devo has 3, and interestingly so does Sanchez. This would allow some room for those already on the 40-man, like Stubbs to give Chirinos a break, etc.

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  3. Straw, Perez, Valdez, Abreu, Biagini, Stubbs, Armenteros, Urquidy, Mayfield. and Tucker.
    Of those, I think Urquidy and Perez are least likely. Perez, because of his health.
    I will be surprised of anyone gets added to the 40-man to be brought up.
    There will be lots of changes after the WS.

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    • Did not know that about Harris — good share. There’s been speculation that he will be offered more than we’re willing to pay next season, and that might be true, given his body of work. But I believe Harris will take less to remain an Astro, and losing him would be the End of an Era in my mind. I suppose a lot will depend on this post-season, too.

      Marisnick was named Big Fudge by Marlins’ roommates, Yelich, and Realmuto (according to Bases Loaded interview). How disappointing these guys have those kind of diets. In post game last night, Bregman said they’d celebrate by eating Doritos and drinking Dr Peppers. Not sure if that was code for Vodka Tonics, like the comments coming home from SEA, but still. Who is in charge of nutrition with this team? There’s none listed on their staff! Must be the same guy in charge of hamstrings.

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      • Don’t forget because I doubt that Will Harris has that the Astros declined his option and signed him for about $1 Million less.

        Also, when you read about the diets of MLB players, you see what a person like Tyler White is fighting against.

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  4. OP….you nailed it last night about Mayfield!!! Good call! I was floored to see Cionel Perez going back to rookie balll!! Good heavens I didn’t know he had fallen off that much!

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    • I think OP was writing recently about how the Astros were using Rookie ball as a fix ’em place – Whitley was sent there among others

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  5. Our delicate short stop took himself outta the game. That was a short day off for Altuve. Wanna take bets on what it was? Sore thumb, headache, toenails need to be clipped? Poor little thing.

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  6. “Back discomfort”……I thought he fixed that over the winter. I’ll give him some back discomfort, rub dirt on it you little wimp.

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  7. Carlos is hard to like too much. He might have a perfectly legit injury, but there was definitely no sign of pain as he left the plate in the first after swinging at the ball a foot off the plate. If nothing else, he’s going to cost himself a lot of money down the road if he can’t stay on the field.

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    • Thank goodness Bregman is a gem at short stop. Mayfield may be up longer now that Diaz AND Correa are out. I’m soo over Correa it’s not funny.😠

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  8. How does a tm like Det come in our house and literally shut this vaulted lineup down since after the 1st inning. I’ve watched the guys swing at pitches off plate all night long. I’m scratching my head here.

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  9. It’s pretty obvious that the problem lies with the Astros and not their opponents. This is the same team that had problems in Baltimore, Chicago and Oakland. They had problems at home against the worst team in baseball, and managed to eke out a win.
    I turned it off after the 5th inning.
    The highlight of the night was the umpires being told what they could do with their strike zones. Jackson must have had 8 or ten strikes called balls.

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    • I saw an umpire that was extremely inconsistent. Just as an example, Yordan came to bat and the first pitch was not touching any part of the strike zone. Strike one. He looks at the umpire. Now he has no idea what is a strike or a ball. The next pitch is up at eye level and he swings.

      Neither team had any idea what was a strike or a ball because the umpire just called them all over the place. And again, I have no idea what Miggy said in the dugout, but for an umpire to have “rabbit ears” and toss a guy in the dugout is terrible umpiring.

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    • The conditions are the same for the umpires as the hitters. If you see guys repeatedly going far out of the zone it means they aren’t recognizing pitches well out of the hand. If they’re expanding it just a little it means the umpire’s inconsistent zone is impacting them. I think everyone behind home plate was having trouble picking it up last night.

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  10. I know we think this team should wipe the floor with a team like the Tigers, but I look at a win like I look at a day spent above the grass. I don’t over-analyze it – I just am happy to accept it and move on.
    If this were a 16 game season like the NFL I would get more upset about losses, but in baseball the best teams are going to lose about 1 of 3 and the worst are going to win 1 of 3 which is 50 or 60 times. It’s an amazingly long 6 month marathon and you can’t count on everything being smooth.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m always pleased to an extent when we go to bed with a win. But I quit last night in the 7th. I did not want to squirm through another underwhelming performance. I agree with 1OP. We have been playing way down to our opponents level. And we just lost 3 of 4 to a pretty good team by not playing very good baseball. So all is not well in Astroland.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one here to be worn out by the continuing Carlos Correa drama. My brother called him a bleeping diva last night. Forgetting about all his other injuries, I think back to Opening Day. How many guys sit out that weekend and then come right back feeling great the following week? Everyone plays Opening day. I’m willing to be convinced that Correa is bad for this team. I wonder how much his clubhouse has his back. I winder if in some way his issues are all intertwined with the lethargic play of this group of guys.

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    • Correa is a super player when he’s “healthy” but how often is that? I’m not sure where his head is at but somebody needs to get him “straightened out” or he’ll be gone. I’m not sure if that is a bad thing but do we want a prima-donna on the team? He has 2 more years of arbitration remaining so what do we do? LT contract? – I don’t think so. Maybe buy out the last two years and if nothing changes trade him. I would think we’d get a pretty good haul for him. Of course he’s looking for a 30MM/year LT deal. Maybe somebody else will do that. I like others want Springer here long term.

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  12. Things that surprise me:
    * The Astros have only three of their draft picks on their active 25-man roster. No pitchers.
    * Yuli Gurriel has 25 HRs and 88 RBIs with 36 games left in the season.
    * Abraham Toro’s turnaround with the bat started with his assignment to the Arizona Fall League in 2018, where he and Troy Snitker went to work changing Toro’s swing. Toro said it took about 20 games for the changes to start to feel natural and his bat came alive in the AFL. The changes have been awesome for him with huge increases in production in AA and AAA this season. In the meantime, Snitker is now with the Astros.
    * The Astros have had more ABs with RISP than any other team in baseball, 1075. They are 2nd in MLB in team BA, but only 16th in batting with RISP.
    * Here is the Astros problem with RISP: The Astros have struck out the fewest times of any team in baseball, 900. BUT, the Astros have struck out the 12th most times in baseball when there are RISP. The Astros strike out when it matters most.

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  13. Thank God you all have the time to keep this post so awesome, someday I will be retired. It is probably just me , but every night I watch reddick, he seems like he has really digressed?

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    • Even if you don’t think you contribute, you just did.
      Josh Reddick’s BA with RISP, .235 looks lousy. But did you know that Alex Bregman is hitting only .210 with RISP.
      But here is the difference: Bregman has only 22 hits with RISP, but 11 of them are for extra bases with 5 doubles and 6 home runs and 48 RBIs on only 22 hits.
      Reddick has 20 base hits with RISP, but only 3 of those are extra base hits and he has only 25 RBIs on his 20 hits.
      What surprises me is Reddick’s negative rating defensively in the outfield by Fangraphs. Then I looked closer, and Reddick has had a negative defensive rating from every year since 2014.

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      • Plenty of Reddick talk and for good reason. I just don’t see Tucker getting real chance to take his job down the stretch. I think Reddick remains the guy in the post season, at least against righthanders. Now I sure could see the Astros paying half of Reddick’s salary in a trade over the winter though.

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    • I could make this more awesome if I was retired. But NOOOOOOOO I have to write it during lunch breaks and late nights. If I did not love it – this might be a problem….

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      • I don’t mean to critique the nerd guys, but when you get into fielding stats (other than those kept for last 100 years) I have to wonder how much the extreme shifts have to do with this. Are they considered out of position because they are 90 feet from where they normally play the game? I don’t know but Reddick runs a lot of distance every game trying to get under fly balls. Most he catches, some elude him. Altuve is making a lot of throws in right field and behind second base. Bregman is playing short with most left hand hitters.

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      • Dan, you keep it going. I don’t see retirement anywhere on the horizon, so I’ll just try to be a well behaved contributor for the next decade or so.

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      • Sorry you have to write while eating but I can’t imagine what we would do without you.
        You’re awesome enough already.

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    • The main reason (along with some of his performance and off field issues) that he was not listed is he is not on the 40 man. Now they could very easily drop a Rodgers or a Guduan from the 40 man and add Whitley on. But if I am the head guy I’m telling Forrest that he needs to earn that honor with an extended time of excellence on and off the field.

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  14. Whitney got himself in hot water with the front office….BIG time this spring.
    Smart mouth kid who thinks he’s better than he is. After the PED suspension he didn’t realize he was skating on thin ice….he thought wrong. He wasn’t putting the effort they thought he should….he’s lucky he still has a chance to make it MLB.
    WOW!! Remember Octavo Dotel? He just got arrested in the biggest drug bust ever in the Dominican!! The dude will rot in prison. My mother had a saying
    “Those who won’t hear, WILL feel”. I’m still pi$$ed off about Correa😠

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Don’t know how you guys do it, looked on Fangraphs trying to figure out something like how individuals hit with RISP. Saw a bunch of #’s and abbreviations that didn’t mean jack to me, lol.

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