His time?

Astros call up prize prospect Tucker, send Marisnick down

Kyle Tucker will finally be in an Astros uniform. Rich Schultz

The Astros' quest to win a second consecutive World Series might have gotten a significant boost on Saturday.

The team called up prize outfield prospect Kyle Tucker, and sent Jake Marisnick down to Triple-A for the second time this season.

Marisnick had become a polarizing figure for the Astros. He had seven home runs and 19 RBIs in 153 at bats, but hit just .190 and struck out an alarming 69 times. His defense is spectacular, but offensively he has been a serious liability. 

The big story is Tucker, the Astros' most elite prospect since Alex Bregman. After a slow start at Triple A Fresno, Tucker has managed a .306 average, 14 HRs and 66 RBIs in 80 games. He is considered one of the top 20 prospects in all of baseball by most services.

Tucker will play Saturday against the Chicago White Sox.

Tucker was the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft out of high school, and has been a high-end prospect ever since. The Astros have struggled to find a place for him on a team that has the second-most wins in all of baseball. But they finally decided to give him a chance at the big-league level.

If Tucker is ready to produce, it could be the equivalent of adding another big time bat via trade, and help boost an offense that has been very good, if a little short of last year's production. It really is a no-risk proposition. If he does not perform, they have not really lost anything. If he does? They have another key weapon for the stretch run and playoffs. And if he lives up to his potential? He could be a key cog in another World Series run.

Fans have been salivating at the idea of seeing Tucker. They will finally get their chance.

 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome