Why is Jonathan Villar still playing?


It hasn’t taken long for Jonathan Villar to prove that he has no business playing shortstop for the Houston Astros. Recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City at the beginning of the month, Villar has already made two costly errors in two starts at short.

With capable players Marwin Gonzalez and Gregorio Petit available, there is no reason for Villar to be part of this team. Given the nod as the starting shortstop at the beginning of the season, Villar continues to exhibit the lackadaisical type of effort that earned him a mid-season demotion to the minors.

The only possible explanation for Villar’s playing time would be the team is trying to showcase him for a possible trade. Both Gonzalez and Petit have been outstanding since Villar’s demotion and deserve more respect than that. So do the fans. Gonzalez and Petit can help this team win. Villar can’t. He needs to be benched or released.

The CSN Houston announcers talked briefly during yesterday’s telecast about how new manager Tom Lawless would be rotating all three shortstops in and out of the lineup. Obviously the fans would like an explanation. We have a hard time believing that Lawless would run Villar back out there only two days after his error cost the team a shutout and almost cost them the game. The fact that Lawless pinch-hit for Villar later in that same game pretty much confirms our suspicions. Just like Bo Porter, Tom Lawless isn’t making all of the managerial decisions. His strings are being pulled by a higher power.