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Niko Goodrum Continues to Burn a Houston Astros’ 40-Man Roster Spot

The Houston Astros rode into Thursday night’s game with a two-man bench of Martín Maldonado and David Hensley — who has yet to make his Major League debut. Kyle Tucker and Chas McCormick were day-to-day with their respective ailments.

While two outfielders may not warrant an injured list placement, a 40-man roster spot is being burned in Niko Goodrum. The utilityman made his return from the minor league injured list on Aug. 11 after being out for over two months with a hamstring injury.

Goodrum appeared in one game a day later and hasn’t seen the field since for the Sugar Land Space Cowboys. The 30-year-old battled strikeout issues in the Majors and didn’t offer the depth many expected.

Moving Goodrum to the Major League 60-day injured list would open a 40-man roster spot but also end his 2022 season. The Astros may have faith in Goodrum returning to Triple-A though, given he hasn’t been placed on the injured list again.

But as Houston pushes for the top-seed in the American League, Goodrum won’t better the Major League club. Aledmys Díaz is expected to return in the coming weeks, and Goodrum doesn’t offer more versatility than Mauricio Dubón.

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Hunter Brown’s inevitable addition to the 40-man roster in September is looming with rosters expanding to 28. And following Jonathan Bermudez’s removal, Brown’s entry to the roster could come with the exit of Goodrum.

The Astros lack a minor league outfielder on the 40-man roster, too. Veteran Lewis Brinson ranks atop Pacific Coast League hitters in slugging this month, but his lack of options and high strikeout rate won’t bode well for the roster.

Corey Julks has slightly cooled off with a .773 OPS in August but has an .849 OPS on the year in Triple-A. The righty has turned heads with his long home runs this season, and his addition of third base and recently second base to his tool bag will bolster his chances of making the roster this winter.

There aren’t any for-sure contributors that would offer viable depth in the outfield if a starter took a short stint on the shelf. But with Goodrum missing, he is an option to be removed from the 40-man roster for Brown’s call-up or another position player, if needed.

More From SI’s Inside The Astros:

  1. Report: Former Astros Pitcher Fiers’ Contract Terminated By CPBL Club
  2. Grading the Houston Astros MLB Trade Deadline Transactions
  3. Jeremy Peña isn’t Competing for Rookie of the Year, And That’s a Good Thing
  4. Houston Astros Poised to Make Another World Series Run
  5. Mancini Mania: Behind the Houston Astros’ Latest Streak of History
  6. Artist Brendan Murphy on His Signature Addition to Minute Maid Park
  7. Trey Mancini Gives Houston Astros a Much Deeper Lineup
  8. Astros Pass New York Yankees as Best Team in the American League
  9. Astros’ Álvarez Stopped Striking Out and Became the Best Hitter in Baseball
  10. ‘Tracking Like Wheels Up’: A Long Journey Back For Astros Prospect McKee

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