All Things Astros and a whole lot more
Chip continues a conversation that has been hashed, rehashed, dissected, buried, raised again and has brought frustration along with many failed solutions in recent years. Shortstop.
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Adam Everett anyone? While the now-37-year-old Everett brought one of the best gloves in Astros’ history to the six hole, fans lamented the black hole he brought to the lower part of the batting order, which often overshadowed his work in the field.
Still, pitchers and many fans would take Everett in a heartbeat these days. But the only place you’ll see the Astros’ World Series shortstop is on the bench or training infielders on footwork.
But. Let’s. Be. Clear. Very clear. Discuss all you want. Hash it however you like. Nothing really matters until Carlos Correa arrives. Anyone else is merely an understudy in the role while the Astros’ best prospect warms up in the wings. Place holder. Seat warmer. Junior apprentice.
This year, Jed Lowrie — the starting shortstop for opening day 2012 — slides back into the role he relinquished to Jonathan Villar after the Oakland trade. He’s merely keeping the seat warm for Carlos Correa, who could see a cup of coffee in 2015. Jeff Luhnow obviously thought enough of Lowrie to sign him to a reasonable 3 year/$22 million deal with a club option for 2018. Eventual mentor for Correa and others? Trade bait next year? Reserve role on the 2017 World Series team?
So, here are the current options for A.J. Hinch heading into spring training.
Then, here are the obvious gentlemen lurking in the wings.
There are some who believe Correa may eventually be a better third baseman than shortstop. They also suggested the same for Derek Jeter as I recall. But Correa may re-usher in a new era of the hugely productive shortstop that began with players like Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra and Alex Rodriguez. Remember when they all played short back in the 90s?
As I mentioned above, discuss all you want. The biggest question, however, is when will Correa arrive. Nothing else really matters does it? That day will be a game changer for Houston. Other pieces will start to fall into place. Suddenly, all the other “prospects”, free agent signings and acquisitions shuttle over for competition at third base. The depth chart at SS will read: Correa. Correa. And, Correa. Game over.
Until then, the game is on, but Lowrie is the man of the hour or flavor of the month, however you would like to look at it.