Astros Roster Predictions: Third Base and Shortstop

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CTH Writers on: Third Base

Aug 30, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pinch hitter

Randal Grichuk

(15) is tagged out by Chicago Cubs third baseman

Luis Valbuena

(24) on a stolen base attempt at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Cubs 13-1. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Answer: Matt Dominguez and Jonathan Villar

Kennon Riley @kcrileyCTH

Third Base: Luis Valbuena is the starter. He’s a positive asset on defense and has tremendous plate discipline. He may not hit for a big batting average, but he’s still relatively young.

Backup: There’s going to be a trio of guys backing up Valbuena. Due to his slow development at the MLB level, he’s been a platoon-type. I expect that to continue with Matt Dominguez, Jonathan Villar, and Marwin Gonzalez fighting for a spot on the MLB roster.

Eric Huysman @huysman_eric

This will be either a one person show, or a lefty and righty platoon.

Starter: Luis Valbuena will get the nod early, but then the Astros will see his weakness like the Cubs did. He struggles versus lefties, so Matt Dominguez will probably start against left-handers. I see Valbuena hitting in the two hole when he is starting, because of his on-base percentage.

Back-up: Matt Dominguez will be the main backup at third base, but either Marwin Gonzalez or Jonathan Villar will back up at third as well. I already stated that Villar will win super utility spot, so I will stick to that choice.

Ryan Gonzalez @ryangonzalez57

Valbuena starting with Gonzalez being on the bench as a UTIL and Dominguez to platoon early

Thomas O’Banion @obaniont

This is a tough call. Luis Valbuena gets the Opening Day spot, but really it is a platoon with Matt Dominguez. Dominguez is right-handed and hits lefties better than Valbuena (who is left-handed), so this appears to be a match up issue.

Jason Burke @baseballmiamor

I really think this depends on how spring training goes. The moves that have been made have brought in other options for positions that struggled last season. If Dominguez is blazing hot coming out of camp, he gets the nod with Valbuena backing up. If Dominguez is struggling like he did last year, this will be more of a platoon situation.

Issa Cook @ipc1221

The Starter- Matt Dominguez. He will have to prove himself with Valbuena right behind him, but I think he starts there. If he struggles early, Valbuena in by mid-June.

The backup: Valbuena, I expect him to get plenty of reps. Again, if Matt struggles, he will be replaced sooner than later.

Brian Del Castillo @babybullDC

Any question of that was put to rest when the Astros acquired Luis Valbuena from the Cubs in the Dexter Fowler deal.  Valbuena is an upgrade over Matt Dominguez offensively and provides a little bit of left-handed pop to a very right-handed lineup.  Some have suggested that Dominguez could still have a role in a platoon situation, but I think Marwin Gonzalez’s super utility role will appease that.

Trivia: Which Astros Third Baseman won the CTH Best Seasons fan vote from recent series?

Next: CTH Writers on: Shortstop

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