2:43PM: Meyers left the game due to left shoulder discomfort, the Astros announced.
2:23PM: An apparent injury to his left arm forced Astros center fielder Jake Meyers to depart in the bottom of the second inning of Game 4 of the ALDS series between the Astros and White Sox. Meyers collided with the outfield fence while trying to make a leaping catch of a Gavin Sheets home run, with Meyers’ left arm taking the brunt of the impact. The center fielder was in obvious discomfort but attempted to stay in the game, testing his arm on a few light throws before finally being replaced by Chas McCormick.
Should the Astros win today and clinch the series, no roster maneuvers will be needed to address Meyers’ situation until the ALCS. If the White Sox win Game 4 and force a Game 5, the Astros can only replace Meyers with another player for that decisive game if the Commissioner’s Office grants approval. In that scenario, Meyers would be ineligible to play in the ALCS but could return to the World Series, if healthy.
More will be known about Meyers’ condition after the game, though an injury absence would be a very unfortunate turn of events for both Meyers and the Astros on the heels of the 25-year-old’s solid rookie season. Originally a 13th-round pick for Houston in the 2017 draft, Meyers posted a 1.006 OPS over his first 304 plate appearances at the Triple-A level this season, leading to his first big league call-up.
After Myles Straw was dealt to the Indians at the trade deadline, Meyers and fellow rookie McCormick became Houston’s regular center field tandem, each delivering above-average offense and defense. Meyers hit .260/.323/.438 with six homers in 163 plate appearances, while posting a +4.9 UZR/150 and +3 Defensive Runs Saved over 293 1/3 innings in center field. Game 4 marked the third start of the series for Meyers, who had three singles and two RBI in his first seven trips to the plate in the postseason.
Should Meyers miss time, utilityman Marwin Gonzalez is probably Houston’s top choice to take his place on the ALDS or ALCS roster, as Gonzalez’s versatility at least gives the Astros some flexibility in determining how to juggle the lineup. McCormick likely becomes the top choice in center field with Jose Siri as the chief depth option, though the Astros could conceivably use Kyle Tucker as a center fielder in a pinch. Moving Tucker to center field would then open up room for Gonzalez or currently-rostered utilityman Aledmys Diaz to get into the lineup in some capacity.