Though Kyle Tucker was added to the Astros dugout prior to Monday’s matchup with Milwaukee, manager A.J. Hinch is making it clear that nothing will be handed to the well-regarded youngster. “We’ll make our assessment on where he can help us,” Hinch said to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle (link). “But he’s going to be a complement player right now until he earns more at-bats.”
Considering the team’s 2019 success and the emergence of rookie Yordan Alvarez, it’s unsurprising to hear that the ’Stros aren’t looking to endanger their status quo simply to accommodate a look at a 22-year-old prospect like Tucker. Still, as noted in the report, Tucker could theoretically be in line for more at-bats should the struggles of fellow outfielder Josh Reddick continue. Considered to be one of the two best prospects in the Houston system (along with hurler Forrest Whitley), Tucker hit .266/.354/.555 with 34 home runs in 536 PCL plate appearances this year.
More rumblings from around the league…
- Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo will be back to launching balls in batting practice this week, which will mark his first time in the cage since fracturing the hamate bone in his right hand on July 23rd. In a report from Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News, Gallo admits that pain will still be a factor in determining whether or not the slugger should venture a 2019 return for an out-of-the-race club. “I don’t want to get on the field and not perform to capabilities and have to sit on that all winter,” Gallo said Monday. “We’re not in a playoff race, so I’m not worried about having to prove something.” Still, manager Chris Woodward projected that the club does expect Gallo to be good to go at some point in the next two weeks.
- Nary a day goes by on this site without an update regarding an injured Yankees player, and this Labor Day evening should be no different. YES reporter Meredith Marakovits passes along that outfielder Aaron Hicks was engaged in throwing exercises today–the first time he’s done so since being placed on the injured list with a flexor strain on Aug. 4 (Twitter link). Like most injuries involving the Yankees this year, Hicks’ injury really only opened the door for another, lesser-known player to open eyes with a surprising fill-in performance, as outfielder Mike Tauchman did with his solid August at the plate (.274 BA and 5 home runs in 84 at-bats). When healthy in 2019, Hicks has himself recorded a .235/.325/.443 line (100wRC+) in 255 plate appearances.