Houston Astros: Plugging in the Astros first base/DH Holes
Option 6: Tyler White and Matt Duffy
Matt Duffy (photo by Tammy Tucker)
6. Tyler White & Matt Duffy
2016 AGES: 25/27
2016 SALARIES: League Minimum
Both of these guys are right-handed hitters, and both have shown tremendous splits in the minor leagues, bashing lefties (White was .397/.486/.620 vs. lefties in Triple-A) with more pedestrian results against same-handed pitching.
Call to the Pen
The Astros may try White at catcher in the off-season though there is a low probability of him becoming a full-time catcher for 2016, if ever. Duffy, who has a less distinguished track record, hit a very respectable .319/.415/.531 on his own vs. LHP. I wouldn’t make too much of his PCL MVP award, as many more talented hitters split time between levels.
Neither player is an ideal fit for the lineup on a full-time basis though they are relatively low strikeout totals would be welcome. Even if the lineup needs lefty production, both Reed and Singleton have a hard time with same-handed pitching, and keeping either White or Duffy on the active roster as a platoon bat against LHP makes sense. Hinch’s preference for a 13-man pitching staff tends to squeeze an extra corner bat off the roster (a three-man bench is almost always a utility OF, middle IF and a catcher), but if there is a 13th hitter, it should be one of these two.
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