According to Brian McTaggart, tweeting from Boston, the Astros have made a roster move to unclog a suddenly-crowded outfield.
Astros have sent OF L.J. Hoes to the minors and have called up LHP Kevin Chapman, source says.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) August 15, 2014
With Chris Carter getting some starts in left field and both Robbie Grossman and Jake Marisnick playing regularly, it left little playing time for Hoes. The outfielder hasn't recorded a plate appearance since Aug. 6 and only has 14 plate appearances since July 23.
Hoes does not have the versatility to play center field, making him less than an ideal candidate as a fourth outfielder. Plus, with Alex Presley set to return from the disabled list soon, the Astros probably wanted to bolster the bullpen rather than carry an outfielder who will be sent down soon.
Chapman has only thrown 5 2/3 innings in the majors this season, but gave up seven runs and eight hits in that time. In 44 innings with Triple-A Oklahoma City, Chapman has a 1.23 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 44 innings. The Astros likely hope his early-season implosion is more about small sample size and bad luck than a true talent level.
Houston's bullpen has thrown 19 innings in the last week, including four pitchers who have thrown at least three innings.
What do you think? Sad to see Hoes go? Glad he might at least get to play?