Going back just a few short years ago, the Astros front office was not too worried about a Plan B for their players, because in so many cases they did not have a Plan A. This season feels completely different from those days as the team has firm Plan A’s for almost every position and a lot of flexibility for Plan B’s. So, what does the team have in mind for Plan A at the main spots and what do they have as Plan B in case of injury and/or performance problems?
DH. Plan A. Carlos Beltran – Sure other folks will rotate into this spot as they give the 40 year old some rest or play him in the field once a week. But after having a black hole (black holes suck) at DH since moving to the AL, the team has a real DH this season.
Plan B. For a short term replacement this could be a spot filled nightly by a different starter. For a longer term this could be someone like Tyler White or A.J. Reed or Preston Tucker based on who is killing it at AAA. (I could not bring myself to type Jon Singleton).
1B. Plan A. Yulieski Gurriel – It would seem to be a stretch to make your Plan A someone who has 5 starts at the position, but the Astros paid big bucks to the Cuban and want to find him a spot in the lineup.
Plan B. For short term this would seem to be Marwin Gonzalez, though playing him in one spot for extended periods would seem to lessen his Swiss Army knife value. A longer term replacement would point at Reed or White with some trade-off with MarGo.
2B. Plan A. Jose Altuve – Period!
Plan B. Short term putting MarGo would work. Longer term ….Tony Kemp??
SS. Carlos Correa – Exclamation Point!
Plan B. Short term – MarGo. Long term move Bregman to SS, Gurriel to 3B and Reed or White plus MarGo at 1B
3B. Plan A. Alex Bregman
RF. Plan A. Josh Reddick
Plan B. Hope this would be Jake Marisnick, but the fear is this would be Springer moving over and JFSF taking over CF.
CF. Plan A. George Springer
Plan B. Jake Marisnick?? Not sure what else works here unless Reddick can move over.
LF. Plan A. Mostly Nori Aoki with some sprinkles of Carlos Beltran, and the 4th OF – likely JFSF.
Plan B. Max Stassi, but depending on the length it might be trade time.
Plan B. Short term they would bring up whoever did not make the team (Joseph Musgrove?) or move in a swing man like Mike Fiers or Chris Devenski. Long term – that trade of prospects for a big arm might occur.
Plan B. Short term and Long term would be next man up from the minors or swing man time.
Closer. Plan A. Ken Giles
Set Up Men. Plan A – Gregerson and Harris
Plan B. Hoyt or Devenski or Michael Feliz
There you have it – the ultimate, inarguable, perfect Plan A and B at the critical positions for the Astros.
Now go ahead and argue and point out the imperfect.