The Astros have designated first baseman/DH Tyler White for assignment, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com tweets. Right-hander Jose Urquidy will come up from Triple-A Round Rock to take White’s 25-man roster spot.
An Astro since they chose him in the 33rd round of the 2013 draft, White made his major league debut in 2016, during which he struggled in a small sample of work. However, White showed flashes of excellence from 2017-18 – a 304-plate appearance span in which he slashed .277/.349/.531 (140 wRC+) with 15 home runs.
Houston’s hope was that White would carry that production over to this season in a larger role, but the 28-year-old has instead been one of the worst regulars in its lineup. Prior to his designation, White hit .225/.320/.330 (81 wRC+) with three homers in 253 trips to the plate. Most of the right-handed White’s struggles have come against opposite-handed pitchers, who have held him to an unplayable .162/.267/.243 line in 86 PA.
White has seen a significant amount of action at first and DH this year, but he ran out of rope with the Astros having begun to get injured players back recently. A healthy Astros club will boast Yuli Gurriel at first, Yordan Alvarez at DH, Jose Altuve at second, Carlos Correa at shortstop and Alex Bregman at third. Correa has been out since late May with a fractured rib, while backup infielder Aledmys Diaz has been down for the same amount of time on account of a strained hamstring. Their absences have led the Astros to often deploy Gurriel at third and Bregman at short. However, both Correa and Diaz should return to Houston’s roster soon. Meanwhile, reserves Myles Straw and Tony Kemp have fared much better than White this season.
White could land with another team via trade or waivers within the next week, but the fact that he’s out of minor league options might work against him. If White passes through waivers, the Astros will have an opportunity to outright him to the minors. Should Houston lose White, though, he’d become the second once-promising first baseman/DH to exit the organization this month. The Astros previously designated AJ Reed, whom the White Sox claimed.