The Houston Astros would like to dip into their rich farm system for some depth help once September 1 rolls around and rosters expand - they just have to be careful.
With the club in contention for the AL West title and a postseason spot, rosters expanding presents a slightly different opportunity than it did in past years (when they might just bring up a slew of youngsters to evaluate them for the future).
Rather, anybody the team promotes this season could play a factor in whether or not they qualify for the postseason.
General manager Jeff Luhnow spoke with MLB.com's Brian McTaggart shortly after visiting with the Astros' Double-A affiliate Corpus Christi Hooks, and had this to say about his team's situation: "The numbers get pretty high pretty quickly, so we need to figure out if there needs to be a reason for each player to be on this team in September. The main reason for any player to be on this team is to help us get to the playoffs. We're taking all that into consideration."
McTaggart adds that manager A.J. Hinch expects to see 'between six and eight players' being added to the roster. Players mentioned as potential call-up options by McTaggart include reliever Joe Thatcher, outfielder Alex Presley, Double-A stud Mark Appel and Triple-A standout Tony Kemp, pitcher Vincent Velasquez, slugger Jon Singleton and shortstop Jonathan Villar, among others.
It's obvious Houston has options, and they'll likely make them in a manner that best helps them down the stretch.