Valbuena’s presence as a decent-fielding, left-handed-hitting home-run threat in a lineup loaded with righties is more than enough to maintain his starting spot.
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However, unless Valbuena exceeds all expectations, the Astros do not stand to gain anything from his increased playing time. White is no longer part of the equation, and it would be a surprise to everyone to see Davis this soon.
Duffy has backup third baseman and a bench spot locked down unless he just cannot get it together in Spring Training. Moran has a chance as well though it is discernibly lower than Duffy’s. But Duffy has the edge due to his positional flexibility and current presence on the 40-man roster.
Given Valbuena’s ability to hit righties and expiring contract, we expect a platoon of Valbuena and Duffy to develop early in the season. Thankfully, the Astros have a treasure trove of backup plans in case Plan A falls apart.
**Stats from Baseball-Reference**