At the airport there is the carousel of all your fellow flight-goers luggage. So far this season the Houston Astros have taken baggage to utilize in left field. Robbie Grossman started the season with the big league club, was demoted and earned a starting job a couple of weeks later. But it is time to move on to the next bag.
No Roster Move
If Jeff Luhnow and the Houston Astros do not wish to make a roster move, I would like to see Alex Presley get more starts rather than Robbie Grossman. Presley is slashing .234/.282/.317 so far this season as a fourth outfielder. Through parts of 5 seasons he has a .259 batting average in 936 at-bats. Sure, he has had his share of inconsistencies at the plate. The guy in the way of Presley is currently hitting .158 through two stints with the big-league club this season.
Despite all the negativity and overall statistics against Grossman, he does have some trending toward his favor. At home this season Robbie is hitting .208, above his overall mark by a considerable margin. Astros County (@AstrosCounty on twitter) shocks everyone by unearthing that his OPS with RISP this season is pretty good – .827 – through 35 plate appearances. That is including his inefficient at bats with two outs in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Braves.
And while the defense has not been a big issue, Presley is an obvious upgrade over Grossman. Their sample sizes are relatively the same this season, with Presley having a perfect fielding percentage in 44 chances while Grossman has committed an error once out of 52 chances.
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
From the Farm
The next best option would be to recall LJ Hoes and attempt a platoon of Hoes and Presley. Hoes has a tendency to hit righties well while Presley has had more success vs. lefties in his career. Here are their career splits:
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In a small sample size this season, Presley is actually slashing .438/.412/.500 in 16 at-bats (17 plate apperances).
The option that most Astros fans would like the organization to make is probably not available until mid-August. Of course I am referring to Domingo Santana. For the three-year anniversary of the Hunter Pence trade on July 29th, the Astros do have a possibility of having all four of those prospects on the 25-man roster. But again, that is probably unlikely. For the Astros futures game there was a move that could have been made and perhaps things could be a little different.
Enough with those little things. Santana is currently slashing .295/.377/.473 in his stint at Triple-A Oklahoma City. There is truly no rush to bring Santana along too quickly despite him looking ready. Overall in parts of six seasons in the minor leagues, Santana has registered 86 home runs, a .271 batting average, and a .361 on-base percentage.
Robbie Grossman has shown that he cannot hit at the major league level. The Astros have the option to use Presley more often. A platoon of Hoes/Presley would be pretty interesting to see if it would pan out in the long-term. In reality the team only needs a stop-gap until the 2nd week of September at the latest. That is, of course, barring any limitations that could occur in Santana’s development. Given recent events I do not want to count all my eggs in one basket in that Santana is the solution.