Astros second baseman Jeff Keppinger has needed a bit of time to get ready for the season, but he could be activated over the weekend after finishing three more minor league games in Oklahoma.
“This is his Spring Training,” Astros manager Brad Mills said. “We want to build up at-bats, build up strength. He’s mentioned that [his foot] has been tired, so we have to build up strength. We just want to keep it to where it doesn’t get worn out. That’s the biggest thing.”
The Astros will have quite the roster decision coming up whenever they activate Keppinger from the DL. On merit, Bill Hall easily has been the worst player of the four the Astros have used in the middle infield, but he’s also got a guaranteed deal and the best overall MLB track record. Clint Barmes seems to be safe. Houston could also jettison either Angel Sanchez or Matt Downs.
Should Houston attempt to get rid of Hall, they’d likely have to release him outright. It might be a little soon for that given they’ll owe him his salary anyway, so look for the Astros to instead send down Sanchez or Downs.