Evan Gattis Will Return to the Houston Astros’ Lineup Today
The Houston Astros announced following the sellout Opening Day 8-2 win over the Kansas City Royals Monday night that slugger Evan Gattis will be returning to the Astros lineup tomorrow. While I know Gattis has his haters in Houston, you can’t discount that he was one of the key bats behind the success of Crush City last season. Gattis is probably driving from Corpus Christi as I am typing this up while unfortunately Matt Duffy is catching the red eye back to Fresno to join the Triple-A Grizzlies.
Following Saturday’s game with the Hooks, after going 3-4 with a homer, Gattis sent A.J. Hinch a text message that simply read, “Ready!” If this were Jon Singleton, Hinch would probably say that they would tell him when he is ready. But when Gattis says that he is ready, you take it a little more seriously with his track record. Plus, Hinch jokingly mentioned that Gattis is a scary guy at the Season Ticket Holders Town Hall this offseason.
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This news is great for the Astros, who struggled offensively at times on the last road trip, so having a slugger like Gattis added to the lineup makes them instantly better. The problem the Astros have is that now they have Preston Tucker playing DH, who is swinging a hot bat thus far this season. Gattis is not ready to become the backup catcher without have caught any games during his rehab stint with the Hooks. The only position he can play is probably at designated hitter, so what about Tuck?
Tucker is one of the Astros hitters who has had the most success this season, but he struggles to hit against left-handed pitching which could lead to him being a part of a platoon with maybe Gattis at DH or Carlos Gomez with Colby Rasmus moving over to play center field. It is unlikely that Tucker gets too much time at first base either with Tyler White there, and he has not played that position since college.
We talked the impending moves on yesterday’s Talking Stros.
Last season the Astros used 120 different lineups, with the talent on the team this year, I could see many different mixtures of people in and out of the lineup. It’s a shame that Duffy will not be part of this rotation of players right now, but with the emergence of the Great White, there is not much playing time at first base anymore. Tucker, however, will get some playing time, just not an everyday type of guy with Gattis back.