The Astros announced a number of roster moves today. Phil Maton — acquired yesterday from the Indians — was added to the active roster, while Jake Meyers had his contract selected. To make room on the active roster, Bryan Abreu was optioned to the taxi squad and Brandon Bielak was optioned to Triple-A. To create a spot on the 40-man roster, right-hander Nivaldo Rodriguez was designated for assignment, tweets Mark Berman of Fox 26.
Meyers, 25, is the most interesting addition of the bunch here, despite his lack of prospect status and unheralded beginnings as a 13th-round pick. His revelatory play in Triple-A this season seems to be one of the driving factors in Houston’s decision to trade Myles Straw for Maton. It’s certainly not standard operating procedure for a first-place team like the Astros to deal their starting centerfielder for a middle reliever in the middle of a playoff race — especially with Straw being cheap and controllable through 2025.
But Meyers raked in Triple-A, slashing .343/.408/.598 with 16 home runs for the Sugar Land Skeeters. He brings a less extreme version of Straw’s positive approach at the plate, but with the added benefit of some power potential. Meyers has walked at an 8.2 percent clip while striking out just 19.4 percent of the time. He has benefited from a .389 BABIP, and the power marks – .255 ISO, .598 SLG — are way above his career averages prior to this season.
Defensively, he has split his time evenly between all three outfield spots this year. Back in June, Kevin Goldstein of Fangraphs noted that he profiles as an above-average defensive centerfielder, though without Straw’s arm. If his power proves to be for real, Meyers ought to be an upgrade in centerfield, assuming he can outbid Chas McCormick for playing time. The 26-year-old McCormick has a head start on the starter’s job with a 113 wRC+ through 178 plate appearances this season.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, will be left exposed to waivers as a result of Houston’s trade deadline additions. The 24-year-old righty has nine career appearances between this season and last. He logged 16 innings, allowing eight earned runs on 19 hits and 10 walks while serving up five long balls. Given the need for pitching league-wide, there’s certainly a possibility somebody takes a chance on Rodriguez either as a starter or a reliever with multi-inning potential.