From Astros social media director Alyson Footer comes word that Houston has signed 29-year-old outfielder Brad Snyder to a minor league contract. He’ll also be invited to spring training.
Snyder, the No. 18 overall pick in the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft, has made only 37 career plate appearances in the major leagues — all with the Cubs — and has batted just .167/.189/.194 with one extra-base hit over that limited sample size.
Snyder hit .290 with an .801 OPS and 11 home runs in 102 games this past season at Triple-A Iowa.
The Astros have also handed minor league deals and spring training invites to former Cardinals outfielder Nick Stavinoha and former Indians outfielder Travis Buck. They’ll pray for production out of one of the three.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)