Jeff Keppinger To Start Rehab Assignment Today, Jason Michaels Could Return Friday

The Astros will begin receiving reinforcements on Friday, as the Associated Press reports that outfielder Jason Michaels could be activated from the disabled list to play against the Mets. Michaels’ return would likely push Joe Inglett back off the roster, as the Astros are currently playing with only four outfielders.

The more interesting debate coming up will be the return of Jeff Keppinger. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart goes as far as to speculate that Keppinger could force Bill Hall out of a starting job, just a month into the season:

It’s no secret Bill Hall has struggled, so perhaps they slid Hall back into a utility role and give Keppinger consistent at-batsat second base. Perhaps they part ways with Hall, even though that would cost them a few million dollars. But there’s no doubt Keppinger’s ability to put the ball in play is something the Astros can certainly use.

I was never in favor of signing Hall given the alternative of letting the three million go to use on a longer-term proposition, like signing some highly regarded draft picks or something along those lines. But wow, to cut him after just one month? I know he’s been bad, but the season has barely started yet, and the Astros aren’t going anywhere anyway. Why not see if he can re-establish some value? You’re going to be paying him either way.

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