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Opening Day Lineup Prediction


As Greg wrote earlier, the Astros have dropped below .500 for the first time during spring training. While roster spots are still up for grabs, the opening day lineup seems to be lining up with each passing game. Coming into camp, we had competition for the third base job with Chris Johnson, Brett Wallace and Jimmy Paredes all vying for the position. We also had competition in right field with Brian Bogusevic, Fernando Martinez, J.B. Shuck and Jason Bourgeois vying for the spot. The rotation, outside of Wandy Rodriguez and Bud Norris also had spots up for grabs. After a few rounds of cuts, a trade and some options to the minors, the lineup is becoming clearer.

Leading off and playing center field will be Jordan Schafer. Switch hitting shortstop, Jed Lowrie, will be hitting second. J.D. Martinez will be our three hole hitter and left fielder. Carlos Lee will open as our first baseman and cleanup hitter. This point in the lineup is where it will get interesting. After Jason Bourgeois was traded to Kansas City along with Humberto Quintero for Kevin Chapman and a player to be named later, and after the optioning of Fernando Martinez to AAA Oklahoma City, the right field job has come down to Bogusevic and Shuck. Shuck has been hitting a lot better but my prediction is the arm, defense and power potential of Bogusevic will leave him as the opening day RF and fifth place hitter. Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace have both had good camps but Johnson’s has been great. He smashed his team leading fourth homer today and seems poised to win the starting third base job and bat sixth in the lineup. Batting seventh will be 2008 first round pick, Jason Castro. That leaves Jose Altuve batting eighth (which is actually a perfect spot in the order for him given his inability to draw walks and his free swing) and playing second base with Wandy Rodriguez on the mound, batting ninth.  So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. To recap, my prediction for our opening day lineup is as follows:

CF Jordan Schafer

SS Jed Lowrie

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

RF Brian Bogusevic

3B Chris Johnson

C Jason Castro

2B Jose Altuve

SP Wandy Rodriguez

What do you think? Do you have another lineup or disagree with some or all of mine?