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Predicting the Houston Astros lineup when George Springer returns

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Last night was great news for Houston Astros fans: they get a future view of George Springer leading off the game and being driven in by Hooks prospect A.J. Reed. Springer led off the game for the Hooks with a single and rode home on a three-run homer by Reed. That was Springer’s only hit of the game, but it was a good sign that he played six innings in the field. Due to the 40-man roster and Rule V draft, it is unlikely that we will see Reed playing for the Astros this year, but Springer can return to the lineup soon.

What will happen when Super Springer returns? Even though Carlos Correa has missed a few games due to a tight hamstring, he is not expected to miss a significant time. Let’s jump right into it, and then we will look at the justification.

The Astros will carry Chris Carter for a while, with the hope that he catches fire towards the end of the season. However, he will not be the primary first base for the rest of the season, unless he goes on a 2014 run. I predict Carter will not be on the playoff roster; I’d rather them roll with Valbuena and Marwin Gonzalez at this point.

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While Altuve has done well batting leadoff, that seemed to be Springer’s most productive spot in the batting order. Batting leadoff, Springer appears to have a more controlled swing and better solid contact. He does offer the speed needed by a leadoff hitter combined with the power combination; he is the 2015 version of Craig Biggio leading off. Altuve has hit second this season, and he is also the best contact hitter on the team, so Gigante batting second to advance Springer could work.

There is no doubt where Correa should be hitting; he is arguably the Astros’ best hitter at this point, even if he has struggled a little. Like Springer and Altuve, Correa offers a little speed on the bases as well. I can see this trio driving people crazy on the bases for the next few years.

When Gattis is going good, he can carry a team. When times are not going well for Gattis, he pops up with bases loaded. Right now he is on a hot streak, so he is the main source of power with Carter out of the lineup.

Rasmus has been one of the most consistent hitters all year and is proving to be a valuable pickup for the Astros. While his batting average is not great, it’s better than some of the other starters. However, he could lose some time to Jake Marisnick or Preston Tucker. Carlos Gomez has showed sign of breaking out recently, but his bat has underperformed since joining the Astros.

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Lowrie has struggled since his return from the DL, but he is still one of the better veteran leaders on the young Astros team. Should he continue to struggle, he might lose some playing time, but he is signed to be on the Astros for the next two seasons as well. Valbuena is in an unusual position of being one of the few power hitter hitting eighth in the batting order.

Not sure who will be the starter behind the dish, Max Stassi or Hank Conger, but whoever is will most likely bat ninth.

One thing that is known about Hinch is that he doesn’t rely upon one batting order for too many games in a row. However, the proposed lineup will probably be one the Astros use.

Next: Houston Astros: When can George Springer spring into action?

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