As the Houston Astros (35-68) put a stop to a franchise worst 12 game losing streak with a 9-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Minute Maid Park on Sunday, another action was taken by the club to put a smile on the face of fans. Brett Wallace will begin his second stint in the majors this season when he joins the Astros Monday in Milwaukee.
With news that 3B Chris Johnson had been traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a pair of prospects breaking around noon on Sunday, a spot was available on the diamond for the return of a player fans have been waiting to see back in an Astros uniform for quite some time.
In Wallace’s time spent with the Oklahoma City RedHawks this year, he has compiled a line of .300/.379/.506 while hitting 16 home runs and piling up 57 RBI’s. In his first stint this year with the Astros, Wallace hit .333 (12 for 36) in 11 games before being sent back to OKC.
While Wallace likely could have held his own and remained on the team when he was first called up due to the Carlos Lee (now on the Miami Marlins) injury, it is pretty certain that he will remain with the team for the remainder of the year.
One issue I had with Wallace was his inability to display power even though it was clear at other levels he possessed it.
Wallace seems to have corrected that issue in the minors and displayed it for a small period of time this year at the major league level. He has slimmed down and it appears he has increased his bat speed.
Inability to hit an inside pitch for power often resulted in the 25-year old grounding out to second base as opposed to sending the ball into the outfield. Wallace was hitting over .300 on balls thrown inside to him during his 11 games this year and seems to have corrected that problem although it is a small sample size.
Wallace will see the majority of his playing time at third and first base, though numerous Astros writers have acknowledged he could see time at shortstop as well. Wallace is one of many call ups expected from GM Jeff Luhnow at both the MLB club and minor league levels.
To make room on the roster, Brian Bixler has been optioned to the Class AAA Oklahoma City Redhawks.