On Thursday Brian McTaggart wrote an article detailing his conversation with A.J. Hinch, and how the Houston Astros’ new manager doesn’t want a team that relies too much on the long ball. With offseason additions Colby Rasmus, Evan Gattis, Luis Valbuena and Jed Lowrie, along with in-house options Chris Carter, George Springer, Jason Castro and Jon Singleton all poised to rack up some homers, the focus definitely seems to be on producing runs by going yard.
Aside from Jose Altuve, and possibly Jed Lowrie, the lineup isn’t stacked with guys that will be hitting for a high average. In the article, Hinch also says, “Home runs are nice, but sustaining rallies and moving runners are important as well.” The personnel doesn’t seem well equipped to handle this at the moment, but with Hinch making bunting, or moving runners over a focus in spring training, this tactic could be very effective for the Astros.
As fans, this lineup is an exciting one. There is power potential up and down, one through nine. There is also some depth, which is a welcome sight. With players like the highly-touted Domingo Santana who is likely to start the season in Triple-A, players will have to produce to stay on the big-league roster. While Santana was lackluster last season in his stint in Houston, this is a new year, and new years bring renewed optimism.
Even with that renewed optimism, Hinch may be a bit too optimistic about the players he has on his roster at this point, but that’s something you want from the manager of your team. The new life and big ideas he has are exactly what the Houston Astros need as they continue their climb back to respectability and continue to develop their players in the minors.
The Astros will have a good offense at the very least, but if the players buy in to what Hinch is selling, this team could be an offensive juggernaut.
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