Stassi returns from IL; Guduan recalled for 'pen

Stubbs, Mayfield optioned to Triple-A; Springer on track for Tuesday

June 21st, 2019

NEW YORK -- The Astros began to get a little healthier Friday, activating catcher from the injured list.

Garrett Stubbs was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to make room for Stassi, who missed the past 23 games with left knee soreness.

"[Stassi] is ready to go," manager AJ Hinch said. "He had a couple good rehab games, caught back-to-back games, so he's healthy and ready to go."

The Astros made another roster move prior to Friday night's game against the Yankees, recalling left-hander from Triple-A and optioning infielder Jack Mayfield back to Round Rock. Houston used four relievers in Thursday's 10-6 loss to the Yankees, forcing them to add another arm to the bullpen for the weekend.

"We had a rough game yesterday, thought we were going to be able to go with 12 pitchers for the foreseeable future, but we needed to add an extra arm," Hinch said. "Unfortunately, that cost Jack Mayfield a job on the bench."

Mayfield made his debut on May 27, appearing in 16 games at shortstop, second and third base. He hit .143 with one home run and three RBIs, tying a franchise rookie record with three doubles in a game on Saturday against the Blue Jays.

Stubbs debuted the day after Mayfield, appearing in eight games, including six starts behind the plate. He hit .160 with two RBIs, but showed the ability to catch Houston's challenging pitching staff.

"They helped us," Hinch said. "Both of them, making their debut is always fun and exciting. It's good for the organization, it's good for the signing scouts and the player development people -- and they're doing it for a team that's expected to win. So we'll remember their first games, and now we're getting into the next phase of their career where they can learn different parts of being a big leaguer. When they come back, that newness will not be there."

Springer nearly ready
George Springer (left hamstring strain) remains on track for a Tuesday return after homering twice Thursday in his first rehab game with Double-A Corpus Christi.

"I think he tried to cheer me up by letting me know that he hit a couple homers right after the game," Hinch said. "He had predicted he was going to go deep because he had another flat tire, but he didn't tell me he was going to go deep twice. The good news is he got through that game in great fashion; he feels really good, he's going to take a work day today and get back in there [Saturday]. He lobbied a little bit to come back to New York, but the rehab schedule is a little bit longer than one day."

Worth noting
• Collin McHugh (right elbow discomfort) was slated to pitch in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday for Corpus Christi, after which he could be ready to rejoin the Astros.

• Joe Smith (left Achilles tendon surgery) was scheduled to make his first rehab appearance Friday night at Double-A.