Astros shortstop Clint Barmes, who has been out since nearly the end of spring training with a broken bone in his hand after getting hit by a pitch, is looking like he’ll be able to come back in four weeks rather than six. According to Zachary Levine of The Houston Chronicle, Barmes was cleared to play catch and did so on Saturday.
Barmes will likely take dry swings today, which will be the next step in his recovery process.
While he’s been out, Angel Sanchez has taken his starting role with the Astros, showing some good and some bad. Sanchez is hitting an unsustainable .364 with a stolen base through Sunday’s action, but he’s also already committed three errors in just nine games. He was given a very poor defensive score by the Fangraphs UZR method last season, and he certainly continues to look the part on the field.
The Astros would definitely benefit from Barmes returning to the lineup, and if he hits the four week target on the dot, then he’d be available for the series against the Cardinals that starts April 26th.