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On Second Thought, Could the Astros Bring Yordan Alvarez Up Sooner?

Did the Super Two cutoff move to the middle of May this year?

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MLB: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

If you are like me, you are excited to see some of the top prospects in the game get their chance. We have seen players like Keston Hiura, Austin Riley, Shaun Anderson, and to some extent, Corbin Martin get called up to the big leagues. The Astros promotion of Martin was a little out of character for them, especially with the Super Two cutoff thought to be in early June. Martin repaid the Astros trust with a dominating performance versus the Arlington Rangers at home on mothers day.

Martin will face a tough matchup versus the red hot hitting Red Sox on the road this weekend on National TV. He got his chance partially due to Collin McHugh’s struggles in the rotation and Jose Altuve landing on the IL. On this week’s Talking Stros, we discussed who could be sent back down when Altuve was healthy. We both agreed that it was likely Chris Devenski unless he turns things around. However, Martin could be sent back down because of the Super Two cutoff and service time.

There is not a set date for the Super Two cutoff. It is a moving date. This deals with how many years before a player becomes arbitration eligible. If a player comes up too soon and they fall into a certain category, they could reach arbitration earlier. We have seen the Astros do this with Carlos Correa and other top prospects in the past, waiting until the first week in June.

Recently, I wrote an article that the Astros would not call up Yordan Alvarez soon. While I still believe this to be true, the wave of top prospects around baseball being callup up made me think. With the early start to the season for the Japan Series, could the Super Two cutoff date have moved up to the middle of May?

Could the Super Two cutoff have already passed?

One of the reasons that stated in the article about Alvarez was the Super Two cutoff as a reason why the Astros would not call him up soon. With this potential change, could the Astros bring up Alvarez or Forrest Whitely? No, Whitley is not having a great start to the season and has not earned his call-up yet. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow made a trip to watch the Round Rock Express earlier this week. Could he have been up there telling Alvarez what they want him to work on and his time is coming?

During an interview on SportsTalk 790 with Sean Pendergast, Luhnow said that he wanted to see the stadium and talk with some of the prospects. He talked about how intimidating Alvarez is when he’s at bat, and he is improving defensively. What stood out to me was that Luhnow said the Triple-A pitchers are pitching around him, but he is still getting hits or taking a walk. These are not direct quotes, just what I remember.

Tyler White’s struggles were brought up in the interview. Luhnow said that he applauds how AJ Hinch is still playing him to get his bat going. The offense is covering for him right now, but on a championship team, White needs to hit. Others are waiting if he doesn’t — namely, Alvarez.

They will probably still wait.

Knowing the Astros, they will still wait till June to call up Alvarez, but maybe the Super Two cutoff isn’t holding them back. Could they be waiting to see what White does in the next three weeks before they call up Alvarez? As my Talking Stros cohost likes to mention, Luhnow likes giving himself a birthday present by calling up a top prospect.

If the Super Two cutoff date has passed, maybe Alvarez could be called up sooner. He is off to a hot start at Round Rock batting .403 with 15 homers with 47 RBI. Alvarez has already accumulated 111 total bases with a 22/30 walk to strikeout rate. His bat may be ready, but they want him to work on his defense in the outfield.

Not saying they will, but it’s a cool thought to think that the Astros maybe could call up Alvarez before next week’s homestand. As I said before, stay patient, they will call him up when they need him.