The Astros are set to select the contract of outfielder Jose Siri, tweets Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. Right-hander Bryan Abreu posted a video of Triple-A manager Mickey Storey telling the clubhouse that Siri was getting his first call to the big leagues. (Hector Gomez of ZSports 101 also tweeted the video.)
It’s been a long journey to The Show for the 26-year-old Siri, who initially signed with the Reds as a 17-year-old amateur out of his native Dominican Republic back in 2012. He’s grinded through parts of eight minor league seasons and may have thought his call to the big leagues would come a bit sooner than this, given that Cincinnati selected his contract to the 40-man roster back in November 2017 in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.
At that time, Siri was a 22-year-old who’d just wrapped up a brilliant season in Class-A, hitting .293/.341/.530 with 24 home runs, 24 doubles, 11 triples and a whopping 46 stolen bases. His bat took a step back in each of the next two seasons, however, particularly in 2019 when he hit just .186/.252/.245 in his first 30 games of Triple-A work. The Reds designated Siri for assignment in Jan. 2020 to make room on the roster for Nick Castellanos.
Siri wound up being claimed by the Mariners, but Seattle tried to pass him through waivers themselves early in Spring Training. The Giants then claimed him, but he was designated for assignment a second time in July once the league and the union had agreed on return-to-play conditions following the season stoppage due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Giants passed Siri through outright waivers successfully, and he elected free agency this past offseason, eventually settling on a minor league deal with Houston.
Any downturns in Siri’s production since that brilliant 2017 season look like a distant memory now, as he’s put together a monster season in Triple-A Sugar Land and demonstrated why multiple clubs wanted to give him a look on the 40-man roster at various points in the past year. He’s appeared in 93 games and tallied 393 plate appearances with a .321/.372/.559 batting line in that time. Siri has clubbed 16 home runs, 29 doubles and four triples while also going 24-for-27 in stolen-base attempts. He’s appeared at all three outfield positions but spent the bulk of his time this season in center field.
The Astros technically have a full 40-man roster, but they have a pair of players currently in Covid-19 protocols — Zack Greinke and Taylor Jones — so neither counts against the 40-man roster at this time. Siri could potentially be selected as a Covid replacement player, which would mean he’d be able to be sent back down to Triple-A and removed from the 40-man roster without needing to pass through waivers, although given his brilliant season in Triple-A it wouldn’t be a surprise if he were kept on the 40-man roster even once Greinke and Jones return.