Player News - Astros

Date: Team: Pos:

Evan Gattis recently underwent hernia surgery and will be sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks.

The operation shouldn't have any long-term effects, but it could sideline Gattis for the bulk of spring training and possibly threaten his availability for Opening Day. If Gattis does get a late start to the season, Jake Marisnick, Preston Tucker and Marwin Gonzalez would figure to be in line to pick up the slack. Gattis batted .246/.285/.463 with 27 homers and 88 RBI in his first season with the Astros.
Feb 9 - 10:00 PM

Jason Castro lost his arbitration hearing against the Astros and will make $5 million in 2016.

Castro requested $5.25 million when arbitration figures were exchanged last month, so it wasn't much of a difference, but the two sides were unable to avoid a hearing. The 28-year-old batted .211 with 11 homers and a .648 OPS over 104 games in 2015. He's going into his final year before free agency.
Feb 9 - 1:32 PM

Jason Castro will have an arbitration hearing with the Astros on Monday afternoon.

And a ruling should come Tuesday. Castro requested a $5.25 million salary for 2016 and was offered $5 million from the Astros' front office when arbitration figures were exchanged in mid-January. Now three arbitrators will choose one of those numbers. Castro, 28, is in his third and final year of arbitration, meaning he can become a free agent next winter.
Feb 8 - 8:20 AM

Scott Feldman (shoulder) said Monday that he expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of spring training.

Feldman was shut down last September due to a sprained right shoulder, but he's been on a throwing program this offseason and says he feels "better than I have in years." The Astros don't seem to be convinced, as they recently signed Doug Fister, which could push Feldman to the bullpen or maybe the disabled list to start the season.
Feb 1 - 4:52 PM

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in an interview on MLB Network Radio that Lance McCullers will be under an innings restriction in 2016.

Luhnow didn't specify what the workload limit would be, but the GM did note that the plan will be to have McCullers available for a potential postseason berth. The 157 2/3 innings the 22-year-old threw last season was an increase of more than 50 frames over his previous career high, and that was with a three-week shutdown period in August. Expect the Astros to skip McCullers a few times during the regular season and push him back whenever they can.
Jan 29 - 12:33 PM

According to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle, Doug Fister will "probably be penciled in as the Astros' No. 4 starter."

Fister spent part of last year pitching out of the Nationals' bullpen but the Astros didn't pony up $7 million for another relief pitcher. He'll slot in behind Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh and Lance McCullers with Scott Feldman and Mike Fiers competing for the fifth spot in Houston's starting rotation.
Jan 28 - 1:24 PM

Astros signed RHP Doug Fister to a one-year, $7 million contract.

He's already passed his physical and will be introduced at a press conference on Thursday. His base salary is $7 million but he can earn up to $12 million through incentives. Fister was hoping for a deal in the two-year, $22 million range but that never materialized. The Orioles were also in the running and may shift their attention to Yovani Gallardo now that Fister is off the market. It's a smart deal for Fister, who has a chance to rebuild his value ahead of next year's weak class of free agent starting pitchers. He'll join a stacked Astros' rotation that already includes Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Lance McCullers and Scott Feldman.
Jan 28 - 12:16 PM

According to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart, the Astros' "biggest question mark" is at first base, where Jon Singleton, A.J. Reed, Tyler White and Matt Duffy will all compete for the starting job.

Chris Carter got most of the playing time at first base last year but he's with the Brewers now. GM Jeff Luhnow previously said the job was "Singleton's to lose"and we tend to believe that's still the case. Singleton's top competition will come from Reed, who was arguably the top hitter in minor league baseball last year with 34 homers, 127 RBI and a .340 average across 523 at-bats. Duffy was no slouch either with 20 bombs and 104 RBI in 127 games for Triple-A Fresno. The Astros have plenty of options at first base.
Source: astros.com
Jan 28 - 8:18 AM

Astros signed INF Danny Worth to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Worth, 30, spent all of last season at Triple-A with the Diamondbacks, hitting .314/.394/.469 with six homers and six steals. He's unlikely to make the Opening Day roster but isn't a bad depth option.
Jan 26 - 4:40 PM

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Astros are "exploring the possibility" of signing Doug Fister.

Fister's peripherals and velocity have been heading in the wrong direction, but he can probably be had relatively cheaply. The Astros' rotation looks full at the moment, but it's not surprising that they're seeking reinforcements with Scott Feldman's (shoulder) health less than a sure thing. Houston has also been connected to Yovani Gallardo and Alfredo Simon.
Source: Boston Globe
Jan 24 - 12:14 PM

Scott Feldman (shoulder) has been playing catch in California for several weeks and hopes to begin throwing bullpen sessions early next month.

Feldman sprained his shoulder in September but was cleared to resume throwing in November. He shouldn't be limited in spring training and is obviously on track for Opening Day. Pitchers and catchers report to the Astros' facility in Kissimmee, Fla. on February 18.
Jan 23 - 8:30 PM

Evan Gattis said Saturday that he had dropped 18 pounds already this winter in an effort to become more nimble.

Not that he really needed to become more nimble after legging out a mystifying 11 triples during the 2015 campaign. Gattis slashed .246/.285/.463 with 27 homers and 88 RBI in his first season with the Astros and could be poised for an even better year in 2016. Of course he no longer qualifies as a catcher in most fantasy formats which crushes his fantasy league appeal.
Jan 23 - 3:25 PM

Astros signed LHP Edwar Cabrera to a minor league contract.

Cabrera, 28, posted a 3.91 ERA across 78 1/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A with the Rangers last season. He hasn't appeared in the majors since 2012 and is simply a depth addition.
Jan 22 - 2:30 PM

Astros signed LHP Wandy Rodriguez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Rodriguez began his professional baseball career with the Astros back in 1999, so this is a homecoming of sorts for the now-veteran left-hander. He posted an ugly 4.90 ERA in 86 1/3 innings last season for the Rangers and his 2014 with the Pirates was even uglier. Rodriguez probably won't crack the Astros' Opening Day roster, unless he somehow has a lights-out showing throughout Grapefruit League play.
Jan 21 - 12:03 PM

Jason Castro will require an arbitration hearing, per MLB.com beat reporter Brian McTaggart.

Castro requested $5.25 million and was offered $5 million from the Astros' front office when arbitration figures were exchanged last week. Sometimes it's the smallest gaps that are the hardest to bridge when it comes to these negotiations. Castro missed time with quad and knee injuries in 2015 and wound up batting just .211/.283/.365 in 104 games. This is his final year of arbitration eligibility. The hearing should take place in mid-to-late February.
Jan 21 - 10:02 AM


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