Coming off a 2015 season that teased power, Preston Tucker started 2016 with a bang, knocking extra-base hits in each of his first five games before regression lowered the boom and sunk his stat line. He hit just .140/.206/.248 in 131 plate appearances the rest of the way, and though Tucker hit well in the PCL during an early-summer vacation to the bush leagues, his bat disappeared again upon his recall to the majors and a subsequent demotion sealed his fate without so much as a September callup. Tucker, who is expected to be ready for the start of spring training following shoulder surgery, will hit the reset button and get back to work for 2017, and though his upside is that of a power bat in need of a platoon partner, his solid performance in the minors suggests that he can still bring some value to both the Astros and to fantasy teams, though opportunities could be hard to come by in a Houston organization that is stacked with hitting prospects.
Tucker was optioned to minor league camp Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle's Jake Kaplan reports. This was simply a formality, as Tucker had no chance of making the 25-man roster out of camp, given the Astros' outfield depth. He received just two at-bats in Grapefruit League play after dealing with a shoulder injury for most of camp, which also played a role in him not being considered for a big league roster spot out of spring training.
Tucker is set to make his Grapefruit League debut Monday against the Cardinals, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. He'll play right field and bat eighth in the order. Tucker has been playing in minor-league games for the last week, and after his surgically repaired right shoulder checked out fine in those contests, he'll be cleared to see his first major-league action in six months. The Astros are expected to find more at-bats for the outfielder before spring training draws to a close, but Tucker isn't under consideration for an Opening Day roster spot and will begin the campaign at Triple-A Fresno.
Tucker (shoulder) went 0-for-2 with a walk in a minor league spring game on Monday, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. It was Tucker's first appearance of spring after spending all offseason rehabbing from shoulder surgery. The Astros have taken it slow with him until this point, and it doesn't seem like they'll rush him now, seeing as the 26-year-old is in line to start the season at Triple-A Fresno.
Tucker (shoulder) is slated for his first at-bats of the spring in minor league games this week, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. The Astros have taken it slowly with Tucker who spent the entire offseason rehabbing from September shoulder surgery. The delay caused by his shoulder puts Tucker in line to begin the season in the minors, though with Houston's well-stocked outfield, even a healthy Tucker would have started at Triple-A Fresno.
Tucker (shoulder) is scheduled to take live batting practice Monday, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports. It's a step in the right direction for Tucker, but there's no indication that he's on the cusp of making his Grapefruit League debut. Even if Tucker is back to full strength by the end of the spring, he seems bound for Triple-A Fresno to begin the 2017 season.