10:09am: Stubbs is up and Stassi’s on the IL, McTaggart tweets.
9:28am: The Astros are set to call up catcher prospect Garrett Stubbs from Triple-A Round Rock, per Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. They’re likely to place fellow backstop Max Stassi on the injured list to free up a 25-man roster spot for Stubbs, who’s already on the Astros’ 40-man. Stassi suffered a left knee injury in the Astros’ win over the Red Sox on Saturday.
Now 26, Stubbs has spent his entire pro career with the Astros, who picked him in the eighth round of the 2015 draft. The former USC Trojan ascended to the Triple-A level in 2017 and has since batted .284/.371/.424 with eight home runs in 530 plate appearances. He’s off to a .250/.364/.440 start with four HRs in 99 attempts this year.
MLB.com ranks Stubbs as the Astros’ 12th-best prospect, lauding the lefty swinger’s ability to make consistent contact and handle “the strike zone better than any Astros product.” Stubbs is also “extremely athletic” for his position, where he’s an adept defender, though MLB.com notes the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder may top out as a major league backup because of his lack of size.
Stassi, 28, has mainly been a reserve since debuting with the Astros in 2013. He got off to a scorching start in 2018, during which he wound up amassing a career-high 250 PA, but fizzled beginning in June and has continued to log anemic offensive numbers since then. Stassi does rate as an excellent defender, but his offensive shortcomings have kept him behind offseason pickup Robinson Chirinos on the Astros’ depth chart this year. Chirinos is among many Astros who have thrived at the plate so far.