Outfielder to get at-bats in Triple-A; righty to start Sunday's finale vs. Dodgers
By Chandler Rome
HOUSTON -- The Astros optioned rookie outfielder Preston Tucker to Triple-A Fresno following Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Dodgers to make room for Lance McCullers Jr., who will start Sunday's series finale opposite Clayton Kershaw.
Tucker, who was out of the lineup in the first two games of the Dodgers series in favor of Jake Marisnick, said he wasn't surprised at the move and looks forward to getting consistent at-bats during Fresno's eight-game road trip that begins Monday.
"I'll come back here and hopefully just find a groove," Tucker said following the victory. "Once I did the math, I figured I'm one of the few guys with options, and we have plenty of outfielders, so I figured I'll add it up. I got the 10 days where they send me down and about 10 days until September [roster expansion] comes around. Figured it was going to be me."
Tucker was just 3-for-20 in this homestand, including a home run.
Marisnick, who also has options, launched a mammoth two-run home run during Mike Fiers' no-hitter on Friday to go along with a double, pushing his average to .417 in his last seven games.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Marisnick's hot bat, coupled with his outfield speed that will play well in both Yankee Stadium and Target Field on Houston's upcoming road trip, made the decision more clear -- especially since he wants to keep a recently overworked Astros bullpen at full strength.
"I don't think [Tucker's] swing has been particularly sharp in the last couple of weeks, really since the road trip," Hinch said. "So getting him a couple of at-bats in Triple A will be an opportunity for him to get his swing connected a little bit better and come back and contribute how we're used to him contributing."
Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.