Let’s be honest with each other friends, when Brett Wallace couldn’t beat out our favorite whipping boy, Chris Johnson, for the third base job during Spring Training we assumed his days as anything other than minor league depth were over. Well, what do you know, Brett Wallace has surprised more than a few folks with his recent play. Not only has Brett come back hitting well but the guy is driving the ball, pulling the ball even. That, right there, is the whole story folks. Wallace, even during his down time, always had a nice eye and could reach base but his power was the issue. Now, whether it was Jeff Luhnow coming back into his career, coaching, or simply seeing a last chance Brett looks different and for the better.
I’m not going to pretend to be a baseball guru and say his swing is different or his approach has changed, I honestly can’t tell the difference. What I can say is he appears way more aggressive and not so content on hitting the ball to left field. I think that’s the part most Astros fans didn’t really understand, how could this mountain of a man have such little power? We kept seeing lazy singles to left and easy grounders to second but since his return we’ve seen a lot less of that. What we’ve seen is a guy that likes to turn on inside pitches and drive the ball to right field. I’m sure most Astros’ fans were very excited to see the power display Brett Wallace demonstrating this weekend, now let’s see if it continues.
If he does continue to show what most fans begged of him since he was acquired for Roy Oswalt, what does it do to Carlos Lee? The easy answer would be to simply thank Brett and put Lee back at first base. The money and contract situation makes that the logical choice but this may call for an illogical response. While Lee played well before his injury, Wallace has just been too hot and showed exactly what the Astros had desired from him for some time. So moving him to Oklahoma City would be literally cruel. Baseball is often a cruel game so my money is on him going back to AAA but only for a short time. Some, maybe most, still think moving Lee will be incredibly challenging but I still re-enforce that not only is it easier than most think but likely. It will no doubt cost the Stros quite a few million in salary but the end result is well worth it and seeing Jeff Luhnow’s recent work, it could also result in quality value coming back. However, until a deal is made and Lee is somewhere other than Houston, Wallace’s short term future maybe in Oklahoma City.
Brett Wallace’s time came, went and may be back on again now which can only mean good things for the Astros. With the move to the AL on the horizon and Jonathan Singleton‘s time coming shortly, a role as a DH for Wallace might turn out to be the silver lining in the Astros’future. The land of opportunity is giving another player that one last chance at reaching his prime in Houston colors.