The Astros announced they’ve activated outfielder Kyle Tucker from the COVID-19 injured list. Catcher Garrett Stubbs has been optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land in a corresponding move. To create 40-man roster space, Houston transferred left-hander Kent Emanuel from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list.
Tucker went on the IL last week as a precautionary measure after feeling flu-like symptoms. Losing one of their top hitters could’ve been a blow to the Astros, but the team rolled along without him. Houston went 7-0 in Tucker’s absence (they’ve won nine straight overall). That’s not to say he isn’t an important part of the team. The 24-year-old has hit a very strong .268/.326/.506 with 13 home runs across 265 plate appearances, his third straight year of quality offensive production.
Emanuel underwent surgery to repair a torn UCL in his throwing elbow earlier this month. It wasn’t clear before he went under the knife if Emanuel would need a second career Tommy John surgery. It turns out he did not, as Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reported shortly after the procedure that Emanuel had undergone an “internal bracing surgical procedure” that carries a projected recovery timeline of nine months. He’ll miss the remainder of the 2021 season regardless, but the fact that he avoided Tommy John surgery obviously bodes well for him moving forward. The nine-month recovery timetable would seem to suggest Emanuel could be ready to participate in Spring Training next year, barring any setbacks.