Bill Hall might want to start looking over his shoulder as Jeff Keppinger is expected to be activated off the DL tomorrow and make his first appearance on the active roster this season, according to numerous reports. Outfielder Brian Bogusevic has been optioned down to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make space for Keppinger.
Brian McTaggert does bring up an interesting point in this now leaves the Astros with only four outfielders and seven infielders. Brad Mills addressed this and said “Everybody knows our three [starting] outfielders are going to play. You don’t take those guys out. [Matt] Downs has played some outfield, Billy Hall has played some outfield. It’s not like we’re naked out there, and we have [Jason] Michaels as well.”
Last season, Keppinger won the starting job from Kaz Matsui early in the season and finished with a .288 average, 6 home runs, and 59 RBI. I am sure it will take a little bit for Keppinger to get back into the swing of things but getting Kepp back will be a big for this Astros team who is finally starting to play .500 baseball and looking competitive.
This move does raise the question of playing time as the Astros now have four players who play second base between Matt Downs, Angel Sanchez, Bill Hall and Kepp. It will be a juggling act for Mills to get all players adequate playing time but I could see Downs being the primary back up at third base for Chris Johnson, Angel Sanchez moving to back up Barmes at shortstop and Hall and Keppinger splitting time at second.