George Springer remains at Double-A Corpus Christi, but his performance in the Texas League All-Star game Tuesday evening (two homers, three RBIs, All-Star MVP Award) reminds us that a major league call-up to the Houston Astros might not be far off. In fact, he's already on his way to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he'll play alongside Houston's other two top prospects, Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart.
Bummer for Bundy
Springer, 23, had nothing left to prove at Class AA, hitting .297 with 19 jacks, 23 stolen bases and 55 RBIs in 323 plate appearances. The tall and speedy flycatcher is well on his way to his third straight 20-20 performance in his young career. He'll need to cut back on his swings and misses in order to dominate Class AAA pitching, but the rest of his game is very close to major-league ready.
Not one outfielder currently on the Astros' roster has the upside or ceiling of Springer, so the organization in rebuilding mode will find a place for him when they feel he's ready. They're not anywhere close to contending this year, so why not give him a September audition this year?
Next year, even if Springer doesn't crack the starting lineup out of spring training, he should eventually find his way onto the rosters of owners in all leagues.
Dan Haren's dismal season continued when the Washington Nationals placed him on the DL this week with right shoulder stiffness. In a surprising move, GM Mike Rizzo will bypass all of his Class AAA starting options in favor of 24-year-old Taylor Jordan, who was 7-0 with a sparkling 0.83 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 54 innings for Double-A Harrisburg. Jordan is expected to make his major league debut this Saturday.
Jordan, listed as the team's No. 17 prospect by MLB.com, basically came out of nowhere. He returned late last year from Tommy John surgery, and although the results weren't there, he proved to be healthy. He's continued to impress this year, walking only 15 in 90 1/3 innings while getting opponents to pound the ball into the ground with a heavy sinking heater.
Naturally, you should be skeptical of an obscure pitcher such as Jordan that ascended quickly to the majors without spending any time at the Class AAA level. Also not working in his favor for an extended major league stay: the fact that he's only four frames away from his career high in innings pitched in his first full season back from elbow reconstruction.
Jordan's success isn't blind luck; he's pounding the zone and isn't afraid to attack hitters. Doing that at the major league level, however, won't guarantee success. Haren's shoulder ailment isn't serious, either, so expect him back soon. Jordan is strictly a desperation play for NL-only owners.
- What a difference a week makes. Dylan Bundy (forearm) suffered a setback during his throwing program Monday, and this week he visited Dr. John Wilckens, followed by the dreaded Dr. James Andrews for the second time. That can't be good. The Baltimore Orioles' best pitching prospect needs Tommy John surgery and won't pitch again until sometime next year.
- A high ankle sprain continues to bother St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, and he's back on the 7-day minor league DL at Triple-A Memphis. His health might be the only thing keeping him from coming up, because he hasn't stopped hitting (.306/.341/.803). He could be up later this year, and when he is, he should be owned everywhere. Heck, folks are even stashing him now in mixed leagues.
- Robbie Erlin will make his second major league start for the San Diego Padres tonight against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clayton Richard's (shoulder) rotation spot. He impressed in an emergency start earlier this month and could find himself more innings in the second half for the Friars if they peddle Edinson Volquez at the trading deadline. Erlin will probably be strictly an NL-only commodity the remainder of 2013.
- Could Kyle Jensen earn a promotion to the Miami Marlins before Christian Yelich or Jake Marisnick? It's possible. The 25-year-old outfielder was recently moved to Triple-A New Orleans, where he's off to a hot start. He whiffs too much to help in BA, but he has big power (41 homers last two years). Giancarlo Stanton and/or Logan Morrison could be dealt this summer, leaving an opening for Jensen.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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