The Houston Astros have placed outfielder George Springer on the 10-day disabled list with a left thumb sprain. Springer injured his thumb on a head-first slide while being caught stealing in yesterday’s game against the Dodgers. He’s expected to be out two weeks.
Derek Fisher has been recalled from Triple-A to take his spot on the active roster. Tony Kemp will likely see the most time in the leadoff spot.
Springer is having a down season, but he’s still hitting .250/.335/.436 with 19 homers and 58 RBI. Assuming Fisher gets a lot of his playing time, it’ll be a downgrade for an Astros team doing its best to hold off the surging Oakland Athletics.
A second downgrade in as many days in fact, as Lance McCullers Jr., exited Saturday’s game after experiencing forearm soreness and was placed on the 10-day disabled list himself. Jose Altuve is riding pine right now too with a sore right knee.
The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.
Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.
The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.
The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.