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Astros Promotions: Lyles, Wallace, Shuck, Towles, Harrell, Johnson

Jeez, it seems like the Houston Astros had an awful lot of paperwork to do this morning. Or they had to click a lot mouses. Either way, the club was getting its transaction on this morning, as they announced the promotions of six different players for September's expanded rosters. We covered some key September promotions yesterday, but the Astros appear to have waited until today to make their move. Let's cover those six Astros here:

  • Pitcher Jordan Lyles makes his return to Houston this week after a couple weeks with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Lyles made 15 starts with the Astros earlier this season and posted a 5.02 ERA, although his 4.04 SIERA indicates that his actual performance was a tad stronger than that. He doesn't have a ton of upside, but he's only 20 and could end up being in Houston for a very long time.
  • First baseman Brett Wallace is back as well. The 25-year-old has a .268/.345/.375 line in 358 PA's with the Astros this season, but he's been in Triple-A recently after the club benched him. Carlos Lee has been starting at first base, but Wallace's performance in Oklahoma City presumably encouraged the team: a .356/.437/.481 line, although his continued lack of power is a bit scary.
  • Unlike the previous two guys, outfielder Jack Shuck has never been a major prospect, but he's a guy worth keeping an eye on. In 419 PA's with OKC this season, Shuck has posted a .297/.398/.367 line while flashing a truly impressive batting eye. With 56 walks and just 30 strikeouts, it appears that the 24-year-old has taken a legitimate step forward this season. A 7% strikeout rate is the kind of thing that generally translates well to the majors, although it remains to be seen whether he'll be able to show pitchers that they can't just smack the bat out of his hands.
  • Catcher J.R. Towles and third baseman Chris Johnson are returning to Houston, as well. Towles has split the year between Houston and Triple-A, posting ugly numbers in the majors but he's got a .430 OBP in 136 PA's with Oklahoma City. Johnson is a similar story: ugly numbers in Houston, but a solid .272/.372/.506 line in some limited action in the minors.
  • And last but not least, pitcher Lucas Harrell should make his NL debut this month after being called up today. The 26-year-old began the season with the White Sox, his original organization, but the Astros picked him up midseason and he's been very good in Triple-A since then. Over 21 Triple-A starts this season, Harrell has a 2.63 ERA, although his 1.88 K/BB isn't particularly strong. He's likely nothing more than a spot starter long-term.