Astro fans had to be feeling lifted up after seeing both Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker successfully return to the lineup on Wednesday. Bregman out for two months with soft tissue issues had two hits, including a run-scoring double off the wall and scored the walk-off winning run in the 10th. Tucker who came off of the COVID list had a couple hits, moving Bregman to third base and no out in the 10th on the second one.
Aledmys Diaz, Chas McCormick, Taylor Jones and Jake Meyers have all contributed in the absence of Bregman, Tucker and earlier, Michael Brantley and Yuli Gurriel. But the depth of their lineup and bench has received a huge boost now that folks like Robel Garcia and Jacob Wilson are not being called on to contribute. How deep are they?
The players we should see down the stretch and the playoffs the most are….
The only one out right now is Chas McCormick with a hurt hand. When he gets back, he will give the Astros a darned good 4th outfield as it is expected that Meyers unless he collapses will cover centerfield.
This is an impressive set of ten offensive players. The only ones that are really threatening to win a particular title are Gurriel and Brantley battling for the batting title. But all of these guys are above average to excellent in every category. When they are all in the lineup there is really no one you can pitch around, except whoever hits in front of the catcher spot. But now in a late-game situation, Dusty Baker can send up a good hitter in the spot of Martin Maldonado or Jason Castro. He did it the other night and Brantley who was “resting” tied up the game on the way to a win.
Will they still struggle occasionally? Sure. But they will also give a lot of pitchers plenty to worry about down the stretch of 2021.