With seven weeks of the 2023 regular season now in the books, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. Altuve to return?
Astros star Jose Altuve has yet to play this season thanks to thumb surgery he underwent after suffering an injury during the World Baseball Classic. That could change soon. On the heels of Altuve beginning a rehab assignment last week, manager Dusty Baker told reporters (including The Athletic’s Chandler Rome) that the second baseman was returning to Minute Maid Park for a workout during yesterday’s off-day, and could be activated from the injured list as soon as today if said workout goes well.
Adding Altuve back into the club’s lineup on a daily basis should be a boost for an Astros offense that ranks bottom five in the majors in terms of OPS this season. Despite those offensive woes, Houston has played to a 24-19 record, though that figure is only good enough for second place in the AL West, behind the 26-17 Rangers. Mauricio Dubon has filled in admirably for Altuve, hitting .309/.333/.389 in 156 plate appearances while playing above-average defense per both Defensive Runs Saved (5) and Outs Above Average (1).
2. Severino expected to be activated:
Also expected to make his 2023 regular season debut this weekend is Yankees right-hander Luis Severino, who as noted by Bryach Hoch of MLB.com was announced by manager Aaron Boone as the club’s likely starter for Sunday’s game against the Reds. The 29-year-old Severino pitched just 18 innings between the 2019, 2020, and 2021 campaigns but returned to the mound for 102 strong innings last season, posting a 3.18 ERA and 3.70 FIP with a 27.7% strikeout rate.
If Severino can make a similar impact for the Yankees this season, that would be a huge development for the Yankees, who have seen minimal production from their rotation outside of Gerrit Cole. Nestor Cortes, Jhony Brito, and Clarke Schmidt all have ERAs north of 5.00, Domingo German was recently suspended for violating the foreign substance ban. Neither Carlos Rodon nor Frankie Montas has thrown a pitch this season.
3. Mets roster moves incoming:
Last night, it was reported that the Mets are expected to select the contract of veteran catcher Gary Sanchez before this evening’s game against the Guardians. Seeing as Sanchez isn’t on the 40-man roster, the Mets will have to clear space both on the 40-man and active rosters to accommodate him. Speculatively speaking, Sanchez could take the place of current backup catcher Michael Perez, who has appeared in just two games for the club while filling in for the injured Tomas Nido.
Sanchez, who went 8-for-26 with nine walks and ten strikeouts in 37 Triple-A plate appearances with the Mets, would likely be an upgrade over the 30-year-old Perez, who sports a career 53 wRC+ over 598 plate appearances since the beginning of his big league career in 2018. Sanchez has a career wRC+ of 109 across his 666 games in the majors, with the majority of those coming as the primary catcher for the Yankees.
Sanchez is the power threat the Mets need at DH. But they won’t even play him. Instead theyll keep going to Vogelbach
If Sánchez hits every day you’re guaranteed of at least 20 HR 65 RBI
You’re not going to get RBI production like that from Vogelbach
Plus his BB%’s have been up
The Mets see if Sanchez’s AAA success transfers over ti the big leagues. Not much of a gamble. With Narvaez eventually coming back and Sanchez still doing ok, Sanchez could DH and be on the bench for PH duties and the Mets can carry 3 catchers and not worry about burning one out for doubleheaders.
That said, Mauricio has been playing second base and still lighting it up down there at Syracuse, and I think he should come up to play second, put McNeil in left and rid themselves of one of Canha/Pham/Marte in a trade for some pitching.
And the Mets need to thank their lucky stars, or Billy Eppler, for signing David Robertson. He is saving their Missing In Action ( both bats and starting and relief pitching, especially Edwin Diaz) players.
Yeah, hopefully Mauricio will be up soon to join Baty and Alvarez.
So trade Marte when his value is at its lowest? Seems a bit premature to me.
Toss a 5 gallon tub of Ben & Jerry’s in the dugout and watch those two wreak creamery carnage.
I like fact Altuve is returning. But Dubon being taken out for utility person after all he has done. I still think needs to be in that line up. Let him take first for Abreu. Dubon hits and gets on base. Will have to see who gets sent down. My guess is Salazar the third catcher. He has not been used a lot. I know he caught Bielak his last outing. I am sure to give him perhaps one last game. Also if they try again with Brantley in June perhaps I just hope see some punch with Altuve back.
The missing “punch” has really been Abreu, not Altuve, although having Altuve back helps greatly.
Dubon has been great filling in but he is still an empty .300 hitter with little power. Roughly League average.
It’ll either be Salazar, who barely plays or Hensley who cannot hit at all.
As for Dubon, he’s not going to supplant either Altuve or Pena at their positions but he could take regular reps in CF. Meyers and McCormick aren’t lighting the world on fire and could rotate in LF, another position the Astros aren’t getting great production from.
It is incredibly hard to believe playing in that ballpark that Jose Abreu has not hit a Home Run yet this season. I don’t know if there is something different in his swing or what but he should be regularly depositing balls into the Crawford boxes.
My guess is Corey Julks is the odd man out.
Dubon has earned playing time so will now move into the outfield rotation along with being the primary b/u infielder.
With Dubon added to Alvarez, Tucker, McCormick, and Meyers, there is no room for Julks.
I also think Dubon has earned more time at 2B with Altuve DHing and Alvarez in LF.
That also hurts Julks
That’s not gonna help with Abreu making $58 mil but I see Dubon going into super utility mode to get his bat in the lineup.
NYM fans should not expect much, but their DH options have been pretty dire. So worth a gamble.
What??? Mets DH options dire? HAHAHA! Not when they have Super Dan Vogelslug in their lineup! He makes NY fans forget who Babe Ruth was(weight wise that is), and damn does he know how to sport a uni!
This time away from the field has afforded Altuve ample time to concoct new and more elaborate methods to defraud those around him and betray the trust of anyone foolish enough to enter his inner circle. Meanwhile, he will continue to hide behind the mask of being “a man of faith” which in the minds of those bewitched by his machinations makes him immune to any and all criticisms.
My word. This is beyond pathetic.
I wish some people held business and political leaders to the same accountability standards as they hold professional athletes.
Altuve is a superstar whose career is on a Hall-of-Fame trajectory, and you’re a jealous fanboy of another team typing garbage into your internet device.
Did Altuve steal your girlfriend or something?…
Bruh, get outside and smell the fresh air. Not only was that 2017, the team came to his defense and said he and others refused to cheat. smh
Gary Sanchez. This is what it has come down too. $250M+ and he’s on the roster. Time to begin evaluating Mr. Eppler.
That’s ridiculous. It’s worth taking a look at what you’ve got. He’s not likely to stay on the roster with both Nido and Narvaez on the mend. If he catches fire, he may push Pham off the roster, though Pham got a timely hit yesterday. A healthy Narvaez could put pressure on Vogey since he’s a lefty bat. If Sanchez is moderately productive, it won’t save his roster spot but it could net the Mets a team’s lower top 30 prospect.
Phenomalajs – Exactly and it’s not like their DH’s have been lighting the world on fire. It cost the team nothing to see if they can get any production from him.
Padam, should they have just stuck with Perez? Not taken a chance on a bounce back from someone who was an above average hitter for his position.
Spending doesn’t equate to winning. It’s not what you spend, but who you spend it on. Thats why both the Mets and Padres currently sit below .500
And the RS?
Did not spend a third of what the Mets and Padres spent last winter buying whatever they could and hoping to make it fit. The Red Sox currently sit 13th in MLB in payroll at over $181 million which puts them $172 million behind the Mets (1st) and $67 million behind the Padres (3rd). While the difference between the Red Sox and Padres is not that drastic, the difference between the Sox and Mets is another year’s worth of payroll
Red Sox are actually 15th and the Yankees have spent more than the Padres.
As a Yankees fan, please don’t let other Yankees fans talk crap about payroll. We spend to lose to the Astros in the ALCS. Not exactly money well spent.
What about the RS? Besides guys already on the roster, who have they spent money on in the last few years? And go ….