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Houston Astros

AL West

Buster Olney of ESPN writes that A.J. Hinch and Jeff Lunhow will both be reinstated by Major League Baseball in 2021 even if a season never occurs this year. (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: Both Hinch and Lunhow were fired by the Astros after receiving one-year suspensions for their "roles" in the organization's sign stealing scandal. While the former manager and GM will be reinstated next year, one would think it will be difficult for them to find work right away.

Justin Verlander (groin) is on schedule for his recovery from groin surgery. (Source: Brian McTaggart of

Fantasy Impact: Verlander underwent groin surgery in March and is expected to be out the next six weeks. He is recovering well and is on schedule to return before the season starts. Astros’ general manager James Click said “Verlander is ready to get back out there as soon as he possibly can.” The MLB season is currently on hold due to the coronavirus epidemic, but the 37-year-old should be ready to throw by then.

Category: Injury Updates

The Astros are planning to have Yordan Alvarez play the field more often in 2020. (Source: The Athletic)

Fantasy Impact: Alvarez played in the field in just 10-of-87 games during his rookie season last year. The slugger played some left field and first base at times in 2019 but is still going to be a designated hitter long term. It would certainly help his fantasy value if he could pick up outfield eligibility at some point.

Kyle Tucker went 1-for-2 with a run scored in the Astros' 6-2 loss to the Nationals on Wednesday.

Fantasy Impact: The most noteworthy aspect of Tucker's box score was that he played first base in this one. The outfielder worked out at first base a little bit last year before Yuli Gurriel fully seized the everyday job. Tucker is far more likely to play as an outfielder for the Astros this year, but being able to play some first base would only help. The 23-year-old is now 8-for-12 over his past five Grapefruit League games.

Category: Game Recaps

Roberto Osuna tossed a scoreless inning in Wednesday's 6-2 Grapefruit League loss to the Nationals.

Fantasy Impact: The 25-year-old is one of the safest closers to draft in fantasy this year. In 2019 Osuna put up a 2.63 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. He has yet to be scored on this spring.

Category: Game Recaps

Lance McCullers struck out three over two scoreless innings on Wednesday against the Nationals.

Fantasy Impact: McCullers allowed one hit and one walk in the outing. He got hit hard by the Mets last week so this was a nice bounce back. The 26-year-old is ready to rock and roll this year after missing all of 2019 due to Tommy John surgery.

Category: Game Recaps

Forrest Whitley took the loss on Wednesday against the Nationals, allowing two runs on four hits over 2 1/3 innings pitched.

Fantasy Impact: Whitley struck out two and walked one in the outing, which increased his ERA on the year to 7.50. He is still viewed by many as a high-upside pitching prospect, but his shine has certainly faded over the past calendar year.

Category: Game Recaps

Yuli Gurriel homers on Tuesday

Tue, Mar 10th 7:06pm EDT
By Brendan Tuma

Yuli Gurriel went 2-for-3 with a homer in Tuesday's split squad game against the Mets.

Fantasy Impact: The homer was his first of the spring. Gurriel will enter the 2020 season as the Astros' primary first baseman. He was fantastic in 2019, hitting 31 homers to go along with an .884 OPS.

Category: Game Recaps

Chris Devenski struck out one and allowed one hit in Tuesday's split squad loss to the Mets.

Fantasy Impact: Devenski was one of the best relievers in baseball from 2016-17. However, he has posted ERAs north of 4.00 over the past two season. He did lose nearly 20 pounds this off-season, however, so perhaps a bounce back is possible.

Category: Game Recaps

Framber Valdez lasted 3 2/3 innings on Tuesday against the Mets, giving up four runs on four hits.

Fantasy Impact: Valdez struck out two and walked one in the outing. Even with Justin Verlander set to begin the year on the injured list, Valdez will likely open the season in Triple-A. However, he could be next in line for a rotation spot should Josh James or Austin Pruitt falter.

Category: Game Recaps

Dustin Garneau went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts on Tuesday against the Braves.

Fantasy Impact: The 32-year-old has a career .633 OPS in the majors playing for a variety of teams. He is expected to serve as the backup to Martin Maldonado this season.

Category: Game Recaps

Aledmys Diaz went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in Tuesday's split squad game against the Braves on Tuesday.

Fantasy Impact: Diaz was a useful player in 2019, batting .271 with an .823 OPS in just 69 games for Houston. He should once again serve in a super-utility role for the Astros this year.

Category: Game Recaps

Martin Maldonado went hitless in three at bats on Tuesday against the Braves.

Fantasy Impact: Maldonado dealt with a bruised thumb last week but he's fine moving forward. The 33-year-old posted a .671 OPS last year and doesn't have any fantasy value - even at a position as thin as catcher.

Category: Game Recaps

Josh Reddick went hitless in three at bats on Tuesday, dropping his average on the spring down to .056.

Fantasy Impact: Reddick is competing with Kyle Tucker for playing time in right field this season. Many assumed Reddick, as a veteran, would be given the first crack at the job. However, Tucker could really start to force the issue if he heats up at the plate.

Category: Game Recaps

George Springer went 2-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base in the Astros' split squad game versus the Braves on Tuesday.

Fantasy Impact: The steal was his second of the spring. Springer hasn't reached double-digit steals since 2015 but it would certainly boost his fantasy value if he ran more this year. It's something to monitor with Dusty Baker now running the show in Houston.

Category: Game Recaps

Josh James took the loss in Tuesday's split squad game against the Braves, giving up three runs on four hits over 3 2/3 innings.

Fantasy Impact: James struck out four and walked three in the outing. The walks are certainly a concern as that has been a consistent problem for him in his big league career. The strikeout upside is immense, and James will likely begin the year in the rotation if Justin Verlander is forced to miss time, but his ability to limit free passes will ultimately determine his success.

Category: Game Recaps

Myles Straw went 2-for-2 with an RBI as the Astros beat the Tigers on Monday afternoon.

Fantasy Impact: Straw is now hitting .389 with a 1.370 OPS this spring. The 25-year-old is expected to be a utility player for the Astros this season but he could force his way into the lineup more regularly if he gets off to a hot start.

Category: Game Recaps

Alex Bregman went 0-for-2 with a walk as the Astros beat the Tigers 2-1 on Monday.

Fantasy Impact: Bregman got off to a scorching start this spring but has cooled down in recent days. He remains a first-round talent that can often be had in the second-round of fantasy drafts. He is also dual-eligible between third base and shortstop at most fantasy providers.

Category: Game Recaps

Carlos Correa went 2-for-3 with a double in the Astros' 2-1 win over the Tigers on Monday.

Fantasy Impact: Correa is going pretty late in fantasy drafts for someone who put up a .926 OPS last season. Health will always be a concern for the 25-year-old but he has a chance to be a giant draft-day value if he avoids injuries this season.

Category: Game Recaps

Jose Altuve went 0-for-3 in Monday's 2-1 Grapefruit League win over the Tigers.

Fantasy Impact: Altuve is hitting just .167 this spring. However, it would be foolish to read too much into that. The former MVP hit 31 homers to go along with a .903 OPS in 2019.

Category: Game Recaps

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