There’s a chance Astros shortstop prospect Alex Bregman, the second pick in last year’s draft, will make his major league debut sometime this season. “I wouldn’t rule out him getting [to the Majors] this year, but we have to see how the rest of the season goes for him and if there’s an opening for him at the big leagues,” general manager Jeff Luhnow told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. If the ex-LSU standout does break in with the Astros this season, it’s unlikely to come at short, where the team already has young star Carlos Correa firmly entrenched. Given Correa’s presence, the Astros had Bregman play third base for the first time Friday with their Double-A team. “I feel like I’ll be very comfortable here really soon — really, really soon,” Bregman stated. Proficiency at the hot corner from the 22-year-old Bregman would bode well for the Astros, whose third basemen have hit a weak .221/.302/.358 this season.
More from two other American League teams:
- The Yankees’ three-headed relief monster of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman was in top form Saturday, combining for 3 1/3 innings of eight-strikeout, one-hit ball in a 2-1 win over the White Sox. Chapman’s velocity was particularly awe-inspiring, as the left-hander averaged 100.5 mph on 17 fastballs and topped out at 102.5 mph. Despite the excellence of Betances, Miller and Chapman, Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders how often the Yankees are actually going to be in position to take advantage of having one of the greatest late-game troikas ever assembled. The victory improved the Bombers to just 15-20 on the season, and their below-average offense once again failed to generate much (albeit against premier lefty Jose Quintana).
- Rangers right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, out since early April with a strained right calf, will begin a Triple-A rehab assignment Sunday and could rejoin the major league club Friday, reports Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Thanks to the emergence of stellar rookie Nomar Mazara, whose promotion came as a result of Choo’s injury, there was once expected to be a corner outfield logjam upon Choo’s return. However, the Rangers have since demoted center fielder Delino DeShields and shifted Ian Desmond from left to center. Once Choo comes back, Mazara is a good bet to move from right to left, writes Stevenson.
- Though the Yankees placed right-hander Luis Severino on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a triceps strain, they’re not using the injury as an excuse for his highly disappointing start to the 2016 season. “His arm strength is there, but his stuff is not there,” said GM Brian Cashman (via Chad Jennings of LoHud.com). “He doesn’t have command of his fastball. He doesn’t have command of his secondary pitches. His changeup and slider have been inconsistent. It’s not health related.” Manager Joe Girardi backed up Cashman, saying, “You don’t throw 97, 98 (if you’re) hurt.” Severino has averaged 95.5 mph on his fastball, up a bit from last year’s 95.2, but his 7.46 ERA through 35 innings is nearly five runs worse than the 2.89 mark he put up in his 62 1/3-frame major league debut last season. The 22-year-old’s K/9 has also dropped off markedly, going from 8.09 to 6.94, as he’s yielding more contact while generating fewer swinging strikes.