Is Jake Marisnick the Astros Center Fielder?

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As a math teacher, I am having a hard time figuring out this whole Astros starting lineup. We have ten hitters penciled in for nine spots in the batting order. Last time I checked, nine does not equal ten. Let’s look at the list of players that should receive full-time at bats.

2B – Jose Altuve

RF – George Springer

3B – Luis Valbuena

DH – Chris Carter

LF – Evan Gattis

SS – Jed Lowrie

C – Jason Castro

1B – Jon Singleton

CF – Jake Marisnick

OF – Colby Rasmus

Odd Man Out

Yes, you see it right, the eight million dollar man Colby Rasmus might be the odd man out of the lineup. The Astros have backed themselves into a corner, and they can’t send Jon Singleton down to the minors because they would not have a backup to Chris Carter. The only projected roster players who have seen playing time at first base this spring are Singleton and Carter. If Jon Singleton is struggling, letting him rot on the bench would not be effective. If he makes the opening day lineup, he will do so as the everyday first baseman. Carter would be moved back into the designated hitter, pushing Evan Gattis back to the outfield.

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The Astros see Jake Marisnick as an elite defender in center field, so if he is on the roster he will be starting every game. Imagine the mass hysteria if they tried to sit either Evan Gattis or George Springer. That leaves the guy who is not really part of the Astros future, Colby Rasmus, as the odd man out. The guy we spent eight million on could be the fourth outfielder.

Solution

I do have a solution to solve this problem, and it is not a major problem to carry out. The Astros keep Marisnick and Singleton on the roster, and Rasmus is moved throughout the outfield and into the designated hitter slot. With my plan, he should be able to start four to five games a week.

  • Chris Carter can relieve Jon Singleton at first, then Rasmus hits designated hitter.
  • Rasmus just replaces Carter at designated hitter.
  • Rasmus can give Gattis relief in left field.
  • Rasmus can give Marisnick a breather.
  • If Springer ever takes a day off, Colby Rasmus can play for him.
  • He rides the pine and spits sunflower seeds one day.

If there is a player who can play all three spots in the outfield, it is Colby Rasmus. He is a veteran defensive outfielder who could adjust pretty quickly to the position change. If Singleton struggles, then all of this is negated, because Rasmus can move to left, Carter to first, and Gattis to designated hitter.

I’m not A.J. Hinch, but that could work if Rasmus is willing to do what’s best for the team. The only negative though, is that Rasmus is in a contract year, and he might not be happy sitting once or twice a week. With opening day a week away, we will soon find out.

So first base + designated hitter + outfield = a solution.

Next: Astros Starting Third Baseman: Luis Valbuena

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