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Houston Astros Facing Questions as Injured Outfielder Returns

Chas McCormick has returned to the Astros lineup

With injured outfielder Chas McCormick back in the lineup, the Houston Astros are facing questions over their crowded outfield. Chas McCormick was back in the Astros lineup on Tuesday after he was sidelined in April with an injured hamstring. McCormick returned to the active roster after finishing a six-game rehab assignment on Sunday.



The Houston Astros have been plagued with injuries for much of 2024. So, McCormick’s return presents a rare and welcome problem for the Astros: a surplus in the outfield. McCormick has become a regular starter in Houston but was off to a slow start, batting .236 with three extra-base hits over 21 games before injuring his hamstring. Astros manager Joe Espada now has the tough task of dividing playing time among several productive outfielders.

Houston called up their sixth-ranked prospect, utility man Joey Loperfido, to fill the injured outfielder’s spot on the roster. Loperfido has batted .333/.381/.436 with a home run and five RBI but carries a 39.5% strikeout percentage through 39 at-bats. 

Jake Meyers has been riding a hot streak, batting .440/.517/.760 with two homers over his last seven games. Gold Glove utility man Mauricio Dubón has been one of Houston’s most consistent hitters, so ensuring he’s in the lineup is crucial.

Chas McCormick Returning to a Crowded Astros Outfield After Injury

While McCormick is expected to remain the Astros primary left fielder, his spot in the starting lineup isn’t guaranteed. He is one of four outfielders battling for playing time in an outfield with just two open spots. Right field belongs to Kyle Tucker, and on days when Yordan Álvarez starts in left, center field is the only position available for the other four outfielders.

McCormick, 29,  went 5-for-23 with a pair of doubles and a stolen base through his six rehab starts. He hasn’t quite been as productive this year, and he knows it. While McCormick won’t blame his tough start on his hamstring, he realizes that his timing was off. He said on Tuesday that his timing at the plate and his swing felt “a little better from earlier in the year” after his rehab stint.



Espada said the Astros plan to “control the volume” of McCormick’s playing time as he works his way back to avoid reinjuring his hamstring. Houston was 10-19 when Chas McCormick went on the injured list, but now sits just five games under .500 at 22-27 after winning 10 of their last 13 games.


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