Outfielder in starting lineup Saturday after being claimed from Angels
By Brian McTaggart
HOUSTON -- Who could blame Cameron Maybin from smiling ear to ear Saturday morning? He was happy to be reunited with Astros manager A.J. Hinch, glad to see his name in the lineup card at center field for the first game of a doubleheader against the Mets, and thrilled to have gained a dozen games in the American League West standings.
The Astros claimed the speedy Maybin on Thursday from the Angels, giving them a dynamic presence on the basepaths and in the outfield. Hinch, who had Maybin in San Diego while he was in the Padres' front office, said he will play mostly left field for Houston.
"Having a chance to get back with A.J. and [assistant hitting coach] Alonzo Powell, I was really excited about the opportunity," Maybin said. "These guys have been playing great baseball all year. I'm excited about the opportunity to come in here and add another good athlete and try to be a spark to what they've already been able to do this year."
Maybin played in 93 games for the Angels this year, hitting .235 with 19 doubles and 29 stolen bases, which was tied with Jose Altuve for the AL lead. In 88 starts for the Angels, he was in left field for 44 games, center field for 40 and right field for four.
"Cam will bring a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm," Hinch said. "He plays with a bounce in his step that's infectious. His defense is exceptional. … I think he's just going to bring some balance to an already exciting clubhouse."
Maybin wasn't the only player to join the Astros on Saturday. With rosters expanded in September, the team called up left-hander Reymin Guduan and infielders Tony Kemp and Tyler White from Triple-A Fresno. In addition, left-hander Tony Sipp was activated from the disabled list. He missed a month with a calf injury.
Hinch expected to have 36-38 players on the Major League roster once the Minor League playoffs are over. That includes starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr., who will come off the DL to start on Wednesday, shortstop Carlos Correa (to be activated Sunday) and catcher Max Stassi, who's on rehab. Reliever Michael Feliz and catcher Evan Gattis will also come off the DL at some point.
Colin Moran, an infielder who's been out since July 23 after fouling a ball off his face and suffering fractures in his cheek, will soon begin a rehab stint at Class A Quad Cities, which is set to make the playoffs. The team hasn't ruled out Moran getting some at-bats in the big leagues before the end of the season.
"The fact he's playing competitive baseball again and in the batter's box in pretty remarkable," Hinch said.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.