Astros Bring Back Marwin Gonzalez

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The Houston Astros are getting the band back together, well, sort of! On Friday, the Astros announced they had signed super-utility man Marwin Gonzalez to a minor league deal.

Finding Roster Space

Many fans will remember the impact that Gonzalez brought to the lineup in 2017. It was game two of the 2017 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Astros were about to be down two games to none when Gonzalez hit the game tieing home run off Kenley Jansen in the top of the ninth inning. The Astros would go on to win the game and eventually the World Series in game seven.

The veteran utility man signed a two-year contract with the Minnesota Twins after the 2018 season and never seemed to live up to the hype since that electrifying game two in the World Series. During his two seasons with the Twins, Gonzalez had a slash line of .248/.311/.648 in 167 games.

In 2021, the Boston Red Sox took a chance on Gonzalez, only designating him for assignment on August 13, which would lead to his release on August 16 after only appearing in 77-games this season. Gonzalez seemed to be getting back on track earlier this season as he went on a tear offensively, but after going on the injured list on July 16, Gonzalez never seemed to get on track.

The Astros are hoping that Gonzalez will come off the bench and provide some depth as the team continues to get healthy as the schedule turns over into September. Since the Astros signed Gonzalez before September 1, he is eligible to be on the postseason roster. As it currently sits, Gonzalez is set to report to the Astros spring training facility in West Palm Beach for further assessment. From there, the Astros will determine whether or not he is ready to report to the Triple-A Sugar Land Skeeters.

The real question that remains to be answered is if Gonzalez can get called up before October, who does he replace on the 40-man roster? More than likely, it will either be Robel Garcia or Jacob Wilson. Garcia has bounced back and forth between Triple-A and the big leagues. Wilson is a player that the Astros picked up around the trade deadline as he was designated for assignment by the Oakland Athletics. Either way, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the coming weeks.

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Jeff "Rip" Griffin is a current MLB writer covering the Houston Astros. Rip is also the host of The Rip Griffin Show on Apple Podcasts. Rip holds a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, focusing in Sports Management from the University of Houston - Victoria.