Sep 26, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Matt den Dekker (6) steals second base ahead of the tag by Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Second base is all but set for 162 games of the little man.
Starter: Jose Altuve. I think that Houston fans are desperate to see him accomplish his goal of playing a completely full season. In 2014 we saw Altuve steal over 50 bases, bat for a .341 average, and play pretty good defense on second base. He also has a contract through 2019 with the latter two years being team options.
Backup: Is none an option? I guess to cover depth purposes either Jed Lowrie or Marwin Gonzalez are capable. I would not place a bet against Ronny Torreyes or even Tony Kemp to get a few innings at second base in 2015.
This is the most secure position on the team, unless Craig Biggio wants to un-retire!
Starter: Jose Altuve – There is not much to say about this, he did win the batting title last year. So I assume he will get the job this year, even with a poor spring.
Backup: Jonathan Villar – Like Dominguez, the former starter at shortstop will learn a new position. In order to make the team, Villar will have to be a “utility man.”
Sep 19, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Jonathan Villar (2) throws the ball to first base to complete a double play during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The obvious choice: Jose Altuve.
Altuve starts (is there a question?). And I think Marwin Gonzalez earns the “utility man” title and serves as the backup.
Brian Del Castillo
Second base is clear. After posting one of the best single seasons by any second baseman in 2014 and taking home the American League batting title, Jose Altuve has emerged as a bona fide star. Barring some sort of unfortunate accident or family emergency, he will be playing second base for the Astros on opening day and as long as he is physically able.
Jose Altuve is still on the team right? Yeah, then it’s him. The only controversy comes from who may back him up. Based on last season’s numbers, MarGo has the inside track, but this is a new season, and Villar has the higher ceiling. If he shows some promise in Kissimmee, that could be enough to push Gonzalez off of the roster.