By Illya Harrell on July 27, 2014
The Houston Astros' future looks bright, owning a fine young club. With Jose Altuve and George Springer leading the way, Houston's roster also has young talent in Jon Singleton, Marwin Gonzalez and Robbie Grossman. Here are five players who may join the big club before the rosters are expanded on the first of September.
Besides having a last name harder to spell than Jeff Samardjiza's, Asher Wojciechowski is a finesse pitcher who came to Houston via Toronto in the 2012 trade deadline deal that sent J.A. Happ and Brandon Lyon North of the border. Wojciechowski was out until late-May with a lat injury and then missed most of June with a strained forearm flexor. The Astros may wish to reward his injury-plagued season with a call to the big club.
Rudy Owens is another guy acquired before 2012's trade deadline. Traded from Pittsburgh along with Robbie Grossman for Wandy Rodriguez, Owens has already pitched one game for Houston this season, and that one game was embarrassing for Owens, allowing five earned runs on nine hits and two walks in 5.2 innings pitched. If an Astros starter goes down with an injury, expect Owens to get a chance at MLB-redemption.
Catcher Max Stassi is a solid receiver with an above-average arm. The thing that separates him from other catchers is his big-time power bat. He'll definitely get the call after the rosters expand. If either of the Astros' current catchers goes down, Stassi will get the immediate call.
Left-handed reliever Kevin Chapman is another guy who had an embarrassing stint with Houston. After making the team out of spring training, he gave up runs in five of seven appearances and allowed runners to reach in each game pitched. If one discounts his horrible walk ration, Chapman has tossed good numbers at triple-A. He runs a 93 MPH fastball and a killer slider. Chapman may get the call if his control improves.
If there was such a thing as a brain eraser, Domingo Santana would happily use it to forget his four games with Houston at the beginning of the beginning of July. In four games -- all starts -- he had no hits and 11 strikeouts in 13 at-bats. He has smacked 13 home runs at triple-A and is slashing .286/.368/.832 in 364 at-bats. The Astros are thin in the outfield, and Santana must be licking his chops for another opportunity.
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