Houston Astros Lineup: Evan Gattis Update

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With Evan Gattis latest injury setback, it seems that Gattis will not be playing first base for the Astros this year. For the remaining two weeks of spring training, Gattis will focus on playing in the outfield. What impact does this decision have on the rest of the lineup?

First Base Implications

Mar 8, 2015; Lakeland, FL, USA; Houston Astros first baseman

Jon Singleton

(21) hits a double during the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at a spring training baseball game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

While it is not set in stone, this most likely means that Jon Singleton has earned the first base role for the start of 2015 season. Looking at who has played first base this spring, they are Jon Singleton, Chris Carter, Matt Dominguez, and Dan Johnson among others.

As of Friday night, Singleton has hit a respectable slash line of .310/ .375/ .517/ .892 during spring games so far. He is tied for second in the league with six doubles so far, and has only struck out nine times in 29 at-bats. That’s still a large number, but there are players in MLB that have struck on 14-15 times already.

Starter: Jon Singleton

Predictions: .250/ 25 HR/ 72 RBI

Backup: Matt Dominguez

Plan B (If Singleton struggles): Chris Carter

Outfield Implications

Mar 9, 2015; Dunedin, FL, USA; Houston Astros catcher

Evan Gattis

(11) reacts as he flies out during the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros have no idea what to do here. They want Jake Marisnick to play everyday somewhere, because he is still developing. The plan entering spring training was if Singleton struggles, they were going to train Gattis to play first base. This outcome never happened, and he has not played much in the outfield. Time is running out during spring to experiment. The Astros have come out and said that Gattis is no longer an option at first base.

Gattis had a precautionary MRI done on his sore wrist, and they found no structural damage. He played in left field in a minor league game on Friday, and hit off a tee. His next step is to hit off soft toss during games. He should be on track to be ready for opening day.

How does this affect the outfield situation? At this time, it seems that even though he has played well, Jake Marisnick will be the odd man out. They want Marisnick to play everyday, so AAA is the place until he’s needed.

Another possibility is a platoon situation where either Marisnick or Rasmus serves as a platoon partner with another player.

Right Field – George Springer

Projection: .246/ 39 HR/ 82 RBI

Center Field – Colby Rasmus

Projection: .230/ 22 HR/ 50 RBI

Left Field – Evan Gattis

Projection: .262/ 35 HR/ 90 RBI

Backup: Alex Presley, Jonathan Villar

Plan B: Jake Marisnick

Plan C: Robbie Grossman

Designated hitter Implications

Mar 7, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Chris Carter (23) hits a two-run double during the first inning a spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Unless the Astros want to put Chris Carter at first base, he will be the everyday designated hitter. Evan Gattis would become the everyday designated hitter should something happen to either Carter or Singleton. Unless something drastic happens, Carter is the guy at DH, but players could be rotated through the DH slot for days of rest.

Starter: Chris Carter

Projections: .240/ 37 HR/ 100 RBI

Backup: Evan Gattis and Jason Castro

Sleeper: Preston Tucker

The Astros have been rumored to have people interested in trading for some of their offense, but I don’t see any trades on the horizon. I think the roster logjam will work itself out with merit of good play or injury. Stay tuned to CTH for more Astros information.

Next: Astros Draft Targets: Brendan Rodgers

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