Cincinnati was already without left fielder Ryan Ludwick and now his replacement, Chris Heisey, is headed to the disabled list with a strained right hamstring.
Heisey has been fairly productive in a part-time role, but hit just .173 with two homers and a .488 OPS through 23 games this year. In his place the Reds will likely turn to Xavier Paul, a 28-year-old journeyman with poor numbers in 547 plate appearances as a big leaguer and a solid track record in the minors.
To take Heisey’s spot on the roster the Reds called up 24-year-old first baseman/left fielder Donald Lutz, who’ll be making his MLB debut after six seasons in the minors. He was hitting just .211 at Triple-A and has terrible plate discipline, but does possess 20-homer power.
The Astros have released first baseman Jon Singleton, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Singleton, 26, was suspended for 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. He has had issues with marijuana in the post and admitted to being a drug addict several years ago. He said, “At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict. I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself. I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.”
Singleton played parts of two seasons in the majors in 2014-15 with the Astros, batting a combined .171/.290/.331 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in — appropriately — 420 plate appearances. He spent 2016 with Triple-A Fresno and 2017 with Double-A Corpus Christi, putting up middling numbers.
If he can convince teams he’s still actively working to overcome his addiction, Singleton may be able to find an opportunity elsewhere. But his road back to the majors remains long. He was once a top prospect in the Phillies’ system, then was traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence deal back in July 2011.