Houston Astros
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Chas McCormick
Chas McCormick Out with sore back
Wed, Sep 27, 2023, 5:28 PM
McCormick (back) is not in the lineup Wednesday at Seattle.
Analysis: McCormick was lifted from Tuesday's loss to the Mariners after taking an Andres Munoz fastball to the back in the top of the ninth inning, but he's said to be feeling better Wednesday and could be available off the bench. Mauricio Dubon will start in center field and bat seventh for the visiting Astros.
Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley Returns to lineup Wednesday
Wed, Sep 27, 2023, 5:26 PM
Brantley (shoulder) is back in the lineup Wednesday versus the Mariners.
Analysis: Brantley will start in left field and bat sixth for the visiting Astros after missing eight straight games because of more shoulder discomfort. He's produced two homers, six RBI and six runs scored in 12 games when healthy this season.
Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley Remains out Tuesday
Tue, Sep 26, 2023, 5:34 PM
Brantley (shoulder) isn't in the Astros' lineup Tuesday against the Mariners.
Analysis: Brantley was available off the bench Monday but never came into the game, and he will continue to sit Tuesday due to shoulder soreness. Yordan Alvarez will start in left field while Yainer Diaz operates as the designated hitter.
Kyle Tucker
Kyle Tucker Homers in Monday's win
Mon, Sep 25, 2023, 11:23 PM
Tucker went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk in Monday's 5-1 win over the Mariners.
Analysis: Tucker has had some patience at the plate with four walks over his last five games, though he's gone just 3-for-16 in that span. The outfielder's homer was his 29th of the season, putting him one shy of matching his total from each of the last two years. He's also logged 29 stolen bases while posting a strong .281/.367/.514 slash line with 110 RBI and 92 runs scored over 152 contests.
Yordan Alvarez
Yordan Alvarez Clubs 30th homer
Mon, Sep 25, 2023, 11:20 PM
Alvarez went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and a double in Monday's 5-1 win over the Mariners.
Analysis: Alvarez has homered in back-to-back games to reach the 30-homer mark for the season. His blast Monday was a massive one to right-center field to pad the Astros' lead in the third inning. The designated hitter is at a .297/.411/.593 slash line with 96 RBI, 74 runs scored and 24 doubles through 109 games this season.
Justin Verlander
Justin Verlander Turns in vintage performance
Mon, Sep 25, 2023, 11:18 PM
Verlander (12-8) allowed one run on three hits and a walk while striking out eight over eight-plus innings to earn the win over the Mariners on Monday.
Analysis: This was Verlander's longest outing since he was traded from the Mets to the Astros at the deadline. It was also his third quality start over five outings in September. The 40-year-old right-hander is now at a 3.32 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 139:42 K:BB through 157.1 innings over 26 starts this season. He's tentatively lined up to face the Diamondbacks on the road this weekend, but Houston may change its pitching plans depending on its positioning in the standings at that point if the team needs to line up a playoff rotation.
Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley Available off bench
Mon, Sep 25, 2023, 6:30 PM
Brantley (shoulder) will be available off the bench Monday against the Mariners, Chandler Rome of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: The veteran isn't listed in the starting lineup for the series opener, but skipper Dusty Baker stated before the contest that Brantley will be available if called upon. He's been dealing with a shoulder issue since Sept. 17 and hasn't seen any action since.
Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley Continues to sit
Mon, Sep 25, 2023, 5:18 PM
Brantley (shoulder) is not in the lineup for Monday's game against the Mariners.
Analysis: Brantley's shoulder issue will keep him out of the starting nine for the seventh time in as many games. He remains on Houston's active roster for the time being, but it's unclear when he will be ready to play again.
Hunter Brown
Hunter Brown Yields six runs in loss
Sun, Sep 24, 2023, 7:38 PM
Brown (11-13) took the loss Sunday against the Royals, allowing six runs on six hits and one walk over three innings. He struck out four.
Analysis: Brown allowed a season-worst four home runs Sunday as it marked the third time in his last four starts allowing six runs or more. He has gone 1-3 with a 9.67 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 21:7 K:BB over 17.2 innings in those four outings. The 25-year-old rookie appears to have worn down over the long season as he sports a 6.67 ERA over 60.2 innings post-All-Star break. Brown looks to right the ship in his last start of the season, currently scheduled to be at Arizona.
Martin Maldonado
Martin Maldonado Sitting again Sunday
Sun, Sep 24, 2023, 12:49 PM
Maldonado is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Royals, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
Analysis: It's the second straight game on the bench for Maldonado, though he's still started behind the plate in four of Houston's past seven contests. Yainer Diaz will step in to catch for Hunter Brown on Sunday.
Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley Remains on bench Sunday
Sun, Sep 24, 2023, 12:33 PM
Brantley (shoulder) is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Royals, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
Analysis: Brantley hasn't been in the starting lineup since Sept. 17 due to shoulder soreness, and his absence will extend to six games Sunday. Chas McCormick will receive a turn as Houston's designated hitter while Mauricio Dubon starts in center field.
Kyle Tucker
Kyle Tucker Adds steal in loss
Sat, Sep 23, 2023, 11:11 PM
Tucker went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, one RBI and a stolen base in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Royals.
Analysis: Tucker has hit safely in 13 of 19 games in September, but he's batting just .214 (15-for-70) this month. He's also picked up three steals this month, giving him 29 in 34 attempts this season. The star outfielder is batting .282 with an .878 OPS, 28 home runs, 109 RBI, 90 runs scored, 33 doubles and four triples over 150 games. With a little over a week left in the season, he still has a chance at securing his first 30-30 campaign.
Jeremy Pena
Jeremy Pena Records two steals
Sat, Sep 23, 2023, 11:08 PM
Pena went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Royals.
Analysis: Pena had gone nearly a whole month since his last steal on Aug. 25. In the 24 games between thefts, he hit .316 (31-for-98) with 10 extra-base hits, eight RBI and 20 runs scored. The second-year shortstop hasn't matched his power output from 2022, but his walk rate and on-base percentage have risen while his strikeout rate has decreased, indicating a better approach at the plate. For the year, Pena has a .262/.323/.383 slash line with 10 home runs, 13 steals, 51 RBI and 81 runs scored over 143 contests.
J.P. France
J.P. France Takes loss Saturday
Sat, Sep 23, 2023, 11:03 PM
France (11-6) allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk while striking out five over five innings to take the loss Saturday against the Royals.
Analysis: France didn't receive any run support while he was in the game, and the Astros' comeback effort fell short in the late innings. With 26 runs allowed (25 earned) over his last 28.1 innings, it appears France has worn down late in the season. He's still at a respectable 3.83 ERA despite a 1.36 WHIP and 101:47 K:BB through 136.1 innings this year. His last start of the regular season is lined up to be a road outing in Arizona, but it's tough to envision him being part of a potential postseason rotation if the Astros are playing in October.
Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley Shoulder still bothersome
Sat, Sep 23, 2023, 4:07 PM
Brantley's general soreness, which has kept him out of the lineup for five consecutive games, is mostly concentrated in his shoulder, Matt Kawahara of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Analysis: Brantley returned in late August after shoulder surgery kept him off the field for over a year, but he only lasted 12 games before health concerns popped up again. Given that the Astros are now acknowledging that his soreness is located in that same surgically repaired shoulder, it's more difficult to see him shaking the issue off and playing a meaningful role over the final week of the regular season.
Martin Maldonado
Martin Maldonado Heads to bench
Sat, Sep 23, 2023, 2:57 PM
Maldonado will be on the bench for Saturday's game against the Royals.
Analysis: Maldonado is hitting .189/.258/.343 on the season and has graded out five runs worse than any other catcher at framing pitches (per Statcast). Even with rookie backstop Yainer Diaz breaking out to the tune of a .286/.310/.551 slash line, Maldonado remains Houston's primary catcher, though his off day Saturday means he only has a 5-4 advantage in starts over the last nine games.
Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley Remains sidelined
Sat, Sep 23, 2023, 2:46 PM
Brantley (soreness) remains on the bench for Saturday's game against the Royals.
Analysis: Brantley will sit for the fifth straight game while dealing with general soreness. Shoulder troubles prevented him from making his season debut until late August, and he recorded a modest .702 OPS in 12 games between his return and his recent shutdown. It's not clear that he'll be able to play a significant role for the Astros over the final eight days of the season.
Chas McCormick
Chas McCormick Goes deep in loss
Fri, Sep 22, 2023, 10:59 PM
McCormick went 1-for-3 with a three-run homer and a walk in Friday's loss to the Royals.
Analysis: McCormick's eighth-inning blast cut Kansas City's lead to 7-5 but the comeback attempt fell short. The 28-year-old outfielder is up to 21 home runs this season after knocking his first since Sep. 6. During his 12-game drought, he posted an ugly .479 OPS. McCormick is now slashing .281/.362/.501 with 39 extra-base hits, 68 RBI and 19 stolen bases through 429 plate appearances.
Framber Valdez
Framber Valdez Stumbles against Royals
Fri, Sep 22, 2023, 10:49 PM
Valdez (12-11) allowed seven runs (six earned) on four hits and three walks over 5.1 innings, striking out 10 and taking a loss against Kansas City.
Analysis: The Royals pounced on Valdez with a four-run first inning and set the tone for the rest of the game. He held them off until the sixth inning where he was then charged with three more runs. Despite the rough performance, he reached double-digit strikeouts for the fourth time this year and the second time this month while forcing 16 whiffs. Valdez owns a 3.57 ERA in 10 starts since the beginning of August despite allowing at least six runs on three occasions during that span. He'll carry a 3.39 ERA into this next appearance, which is lined up to be in Seattle next week.
Yordan Alvarez
Yordan Alvarez Limited to DH with elbow issue
Fri, Sep 22, 2023, 10:34 PM
Alvarez said Friday that he has been limited to DH duties because of a right elbow issue, Chandler Rome of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: Alvarez felt something in his throwing elbow while swinging a bat 10 days ago, which explains why he last played the outfield Sept. 13. His limitations have pushed Michael Brantley (soreness) and Chas McCormick to left field and often relegated Yainer Diaz to the bench. It's unclear when Alvarez might be able to cycle back into the mix in left, but at least his bat can remain active in the meantime. He hit a first-inning RBI double in the Astros' loss to the Royals on Friday.


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