Evan Gattis Will Miss Some Time With Surgery, Not Considered Serious.
The Houston Astros have had the first speed bump of the season while it may not be a big deal to the overall season, but it could affect how the opening day roster is shaped. According to Evan Drellich, “Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis recently underwent surgery to repair a hernia, the Chronicle has learned, taking away most of his spring training at a minimum.” Gattis will not miss a lot of time during the season, it is not serious, but it could slow his progress down to get ready for opening day. Most people might not remember, Gattis missed some time last spring and struggled out of the gate.
Gattis got off to a horrendous start to the 2015 season, could it have been to the lack of playing in the springtime have been the issue. I know there were plans for him to play first base for the Astros last season, but missing some time last season put that to bed. There was some talk this offseason that Gattis lost some weight to play possibly more positions and shake the DH label that he has acquired from last season. However, with the news of the hernia surgery, the plans of using Gattis at other positions could go out the door. I wrote about this here: Could Evan Gattis be the Backup Catcher?
While most fans were probably jumping for joy when they heard the news, not because Gattis got hurt, but this could open the door for one of the younger players to get an extended look this spring. Who stands to benefit the most from last night’s news that we talked about in Talking Stros at the tail end of the show? This injury allows more playing time for Preston Tucker, Tyler White, Matt Duffy, and yes, A.J. Reed.
No, I am not saying that Reed makes the team in spring training, I still think it will be June before we see him in an Astros uniform, not that he’s not ready, but because that’s what the Astros do. However, one of the things that A.J. Hinch said at the Town Hall meeting for season ticket holders that the one thing that Reed does not have, he does not have any experience facing Triple-A or Major League pitching. With Gattis going down for 4-6 weeks, Reed could get the extended look at the plate and see more pitches than if Gattis was getting a majority of the at-bats.
I think this also hurts Jon Singleton in a round about way, you can call be crazy, but I think Gattis going out will hurt him. The Astros will not only get to see more at-bats for Reed, but also White and Duffy could as well. I have a sneaky suspicion that the more the Astros see of White, it would be hard for them not to want him on the roster. They still have an open 40-man roster spot, they could easily give that to White. But, Jim Callis last night on @TalkingStros said that he can’t see White being an MLB third baseman, he is better suited as designated hitter or first base. The only question Callis brought up is how much power and defense White can offer.
With that being said, the Astros need a backup third baseman to Luis Valbuena, who is not named Marwin Gonzalez. That means the Astros would need someone like Duffy on the roster, but doing the math, who is the odd guy out? That’s right, I think the odd man out will be Singleton if he has a poor spring.
I think there has been so much hype about White, especially from Jeff Luhnow, for him not to make opening day roster. It seems like the Astros are excited to have possibly a contact hitter like him in the lineup at first base. He is not solely a singles hitter, he hits for power, just maybe not 30+ home run type power. He could turn out to be a player similar to Matt Carpenter for the Astros. You heard it here; I think Singleton may need a change of scenery to try to refind himself as a hitter. Unless he proves himself this spring, he doesn’t make enough contact to be a Major Leaguer.
Even Callis mentioned that he has written Singleton off a little, that he might be trying too hard.
Don’t worry about Gattis’ injury, it doesn’t sound serious, but it could mean that he might not be ready to be full-time duty come opening day. Get well Gattis, we need your 27 homers and 11 triples on this team. Maybe player catcher is like riding a bike, and it comes back to you. I think that Gattis may not get to be a catcher this year, dream on Astros fans.