Lineup shuffles now, roster shuffles soon?
The Astros have already shuffled the lineup multiple times (seven times in eight games counting Tuesday). Sooner or later, Jeff Luhnow will shuffle the roster with under performance and injuries all but a certainty.
Since you can’t get inside Luhnow’s mind, here are some questions and thoughts for your consideration on a Tuesday.
Will Austin Wates beat George Springer to the majors?
- Or, should he? Wates has been nothing but consistent in his minor league career. He walks often and doesn’t have a high number of Ks. And, while he can swipe a few bases, he’s not likely to hit many HRs or drive in many runs. The 25-year-old third round pick (2010) could certainly provide some depth and fill in for a stint, but he’d need to be added to the 40-man roster before the Astros could make a move. Think about it this way, though. If the “clock” is a big concern with Springer, it won’t be with Wates, especially if the team needs a short-term solution.
How far do you go with Lucas Harrell (yes, Becky, let’s go there)?
- Face it, if Luhnow could have traded him, he’d be gone by now. Harrell is one of those good day/bad days guys, and he’s a gap filler. He’s not presently blocking anyone, but it won’t be long before the music stop and he’s wearing another uniform. Meanwhile, the better he pitches, the better the odds of Houston picking up a decent prospect in return. He’ll be under the microscope for Wednesday’s start.
Who will man middle infield in the long-term?
- You could do a lot worse than Carlos Correa and Nolan Fontana. High on-base guys with good defensive skills. Either put Dexter Fowler — or even Delino Deshields or that other guy — behind them in center and suddenly your up-the-middle defense takes two steps up. It would be hard to trade Jose Altuve, but his long-term, team-friendly deal could bring dividends if Fontana settles into 2B.
- Who has the most challenging, difficult job ahead: Pitching coach Brent Strom or hitting coach John Mallee?
Another shout out.
- Louisiana-Lafayette — those Ragin Cajuns — are ranked in the top three in every poll. Collegiate Baseball ranks ’em #1. Could be interesting to have a college regional in Lafayette rather than (ahem) Baton Rouge. Just sayin’.
And, the over and under.
- The Astros indicated last month that Correa’s time in Lancaster would likely be short. Good, he should be in Corpus Christi soon. I give it through the end of the next home series, which would be April 19. Twelve more games would provide about 50-60 total ABs at Lancaster, just good enough to give fans a look at the future.