May 8, 2016
Houston Astros Rumors: Lance McCullers Looks Great In Rehab Start, Evan Gattis Homers As Catcher

Houston Astros rumors about Lance McCullers and Evan Gattis should be great news for fans. Astros rumors about both players getting called back to the big team in the near future are starting to ring true. A report from the Triple-A team for the Astros states that McCullers looked "phenomenal" in a rehab start on Saturday, May 7. Pitching for Fresno, McCullers lasted five shutout innings, striking out seven hitters and allowing just two hits in the process.

Making a start for Double-A Corpus Christi on the same day, Evan Gattis played catcher and hit a two-run homer to win the game. Gattis drove in Alex Bregman, who could also make his debut with the Astros before the close of the 2016 MLB season. Gattis was 1-for-3 at the plate but got another game under his belt at catcher. That could prove extremely valuable for the Astros in the second half of the regular season.

These Houston Astros rumors, in regard to Lance McCullers looking really good on the mound and Evan Gattis looking good behind the plate, will likely be welcome news to fans of the struggling team. As reported by CBS Sports on Friday, May 6, Gattis was optioned to Double-A simply so he could get reps at catcher. The team has a number of options to play outfield and designated hitter and sees the value of having a bat like Gattis at catcher.

The Astros' plan for Gattis is to re-call him before the end of May and have him see more time at the catcher position. This would improve the offense quite a bit on days where he is behind the plate, but the coaching staff wanted to make sure that he was ready to be more of a static option at the position. Gattis saw a lot of games at catcher with the Atlanta Braves before getting traded to the Houston Astros before the 2015 MLB season.

Evan Gattis In 2016 ALDS
(Photo by Eric Christian Smith/Getty Images)

Gattis played in 153 games for the Astros last year, seeing most of his action at designated hitter and in left field. He posted a 0.246 batting average with 27 home runs and 88 RBIs. During the 2016 MLB season, Gattis had only been used as a designated hitter, as the acquisition of Carlos Gomez removed a spot in the outfield. The plan is for Gattis to come back as a catcher and rotate through the position in the second half of the season.

Regarding the Houston Astros rumors about Lance McCullers, he has been on the disabled list due to a sore shoulder since Spring Training. The depth in the starting rotation, or at least the depth that was expected to be there, caused the Astros to not push McCullers into a quick return. Now the team might really need the rehab to speed up so it can get out of last place in the American League West.

The 2015 MLB season was the rookie campaign for Lance McCullers, and he proved to be really valuable down the stretch. McCullers made 22 regular season starts for the team, finishing with a 3.22 ERA and 1.186 WHIP over 125 and two-thirds innings of work. He also made one start in the ALDS for the Astros, giving up just two runs in 6 and one-third innings of work against the Kansas City Royals. Known for his ability to strike out hitters, McCullers could be very important to how far the Astros make it in 2016.

McCullers Vs Royals In ALDS
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

All of this is great news for fantasy baseball owners, as Lance McCullers and Evan Gattis will provide a lot of value to teams this year. While there may be other Houston Astros rumors about the team trying to improve in certain areas, it appears very clear that McCullers and Gattis are big parts in the future of this club.

[Photo by Eric Christian Smith/Getty Images]