Astros outfielder Preston Tucker requires surgery on his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Brian MacTaggart reports. The procedure, which was scheduled for today, will address the acromium on his shoulder blade.
The 26-year-old Tucker will not be able to pick up a bat for a few months, with manager A.J. Hinch saying that “it will be a long process for him in the winter,” but is expected to be ready to go for Spring Training in 2017. Tucker will be battling for a roster spot after a campaign spent fighting through shoulder troubles and scuffling at the plate.
Tucker showed well in his debut season of 2015, posting a .243/.297/.437 batting line and banging 13 home runs in 323 plate appearances. Though he did hit well during his time in the minors this year, the results weren’t pretty at the major league level. In his 144 trips to the plate, Tucker hit just .164/.222/.328 with four dingers, leading to a demotion.
The positive side of the surgery is that it holds out the promise of resolving an injury that kept Tucker from trying to reemerge down the stretch. “We do feel like we finally got to the bottom of what his pain was coming from,” Hinch said.
It remains unsettled where the left-handed hitter will factor in the ’Stros outfield mix next year. The club will bid adieu to pending free agent Colby Rasmus, taking away the organization’s most-used southpaw-swinging outfielder. Youngsters Tony Kemp and Derek Fisher could also claim roles, but the door remains open for Tucker. Of course, Houston could well look to bolster the outfield this winter.