George Springer owned the month of May. The Astros are hoping their newest promotion will make a similar splash in June.
The Astros signed Jon Singleton to a five-year contract that includes three options on Monday, a precursor to his promotion to the major leagues. The deal is worth $10 million over the initial five years, with the potential to be worth $35 million if all options are picked up and bonuses are achieved.
And like Springer, Singleton will be a key cog in the Astros lineup from the outset. He was promoted on Monday's off day, but Astros manager Bo Porter has already said Singleton will be the team's starter at first base and will likely bat in the No. 6 spot in the lineup.
“When you look up and down our lineup, there are certain areas that statistics will just tell you, we haven’t had much production," Porter said. "First base, left field, shortstop, those are areas that obviously when you’re able to improve those areas of your club, you can say to yourself that the offense should get better. This here is going to be a more productive player at that position.”
And that's music to fantasy players' ears. The 22-year-old was hitting .267 with a .941 OPS and 14 home runs in 54 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City before his promotion, and with regular at-bats he could be a nice source of power over the season's final four months. With Jose Altuve, George Springer and Dexter Fowler batting atop the lineup, Singleton should also see his fair share of RBI opportunities.
Singleton has had some off-field issues -- namely, two failed drug tests for marijuana usage -- that could threaten his ability to stay on the field and, as evidenced by Springer's month of April, sometimes young players don't immediately hit upon promotion. But Singleton's power upside is worth a long look in mixed leagues, especially for owners still searching for a Prince Fielder replacement or a stopgap for the bevy of injured first basemen.
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Orioles Promote, DL Santana
From a career on the rise to one nearing its end, the Orioles officially added Johan Santana to their 25-man roster on Monday.
The move was expected and was required if the Orioles wanted to keep the 35-year-old, as he had an opt-out clause in his contract that would have allowed him to become a free agent if he wasn't on the team's roster by midnight Monday. Santana was immediately placed on the disabled list as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury.
Santana is still a few weeks to a month away from having an impact at the major league level -- a tentative plan had him making one more start at extended spring before making one start each at the Orioles' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates -- but the move suggests the Orioles like where he's at in his recovery enough to take a shot on him.
It's also unclear what he'll do upon returning -- the Orioles' two worst starters, statistically, have been high-priced Ubaldo Jimenez and staff ace Chris Tillman, and neither is moving from the rotation despite their relative struggles. It's possible that the team could use him out of the bullpen, but the southpaw hasn't made a relief appearance since 2003.
There's still time for that to work itself out -- his timetable puts him back in Baltimore in roughly two and a half weeks -- but when it happens, his effectiveness upon return will be one of the more interesting storylines of the month.
Lee (Elbow) Nearing A Throwing Program
Speaking of grizzly veteran left-handers, Cliff Lee said Monday that he hopes to begin throwing by the end of the week.
Lee's recovery from a strained left elbow has been slow, and while the discomfort isn't all the way gone, he said the elbow is improving.
"It's still there a little bit," Lee said. "It's getting better."
Even with the good news, beginning a throwing program would just be the first step in his recovery. Without knowing how quickly he'll progress once he resumes throwing, his timetable for a return is still uncertain. But, at the very least, taking that first step this week would be a promising development for fantasy owners.
National League Quick Hits: Ryan Zimmerman (thumb) is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday. Zimmerman played some left field during his rehab assignment, and the Nationals are expected to utilize him in the outfield and at first base along with his native third base upon activation ... Aramis Ramirez (hamstring) will be activated from the disabled list on Wednesday. Ramirez went on a short rehab assignment and will rest Tuesday before being activated for the Brewers' tilt with the Twins ... Andrew Cashner (elbow) could be activated from the DL as soon as this weekend, according to Padres manager Bud Black. Cashner threw 65 pitches in a simulated game on Monday, and it appears he may be allowed to skip a rehab assignment before his return ... A.J. Pollock had a plate and screws inserted into his fractured right hand on Monday. The outfielder, who was hitting .316/.366/.554 before the injury, won't be ready for baseball activities for another eight weeks ... the Mets placed Juan Lagares on the 15-day disabled list with a right intercostal strain ... FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports the Marlins have signed Kevin Gregg. He'll join the club in approximately a week and a half after knocking some of the rust off in the minors. The Marlins making moves at the margins in June to try to improve a winning ballclub. YCPB.
American League Quick Hits: Shane Victorino (hamstring) won't be activated from the disabled list when first eligible. The outfielder is relegated to light running for now, and last week Red Sox manager John Farrell said the team would be "a little more cautious" with the 33-year-old ... Wil Myers (wrist) will see a hand specialist on Tuesday. Myers was placed on the DL on Sunday with a sprained right wrist, but the fear is that he also sustained a small fracture in the wrist as well. A fracture could extend his timetable for a return, but Rays manager Joe Maddon has already ruled out surgery as a possibility ... Mark Teixeira (wrist) could return to the Yankees' lineup as early as Tuesday. Teixeira has been dealing with a sore right wrist, but it's feeling better after a cortisone shot and he appears close to a return either way ... Nelson Cruz (hand) had no issues gripping a bat on Monday after being hit by a pitch Sunday, clearing the way for his return to the lineup on Tuesday. X-rays after Sunday's game came back negative, and he's officially day-to-day with a left hand contusion ... Kyle Seager was the marshal of his own hit parade on Monday. The third baseman had four extra-base hits in his five at-bats, smacking a double, two triples and a homer in the Mariners' rout of the Yankees. The outburst has his season line up to a respectable .272/.355/.503 with nine home runs ... The White Sox activated Jose Abreu from the disabled list prior to Monday's game. He celebrated by homering off Clayton Kershaw in his second at-bat.