Astros News

Astros: Have Plans Changed With A.J. Reed?

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Mar 11, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA;Houston Astros first baseman A.J. Reed (80) hits a double to right center in the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA;Houston Astros first baseman A.J. Reed (80) hits a double to right center in the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Valbuena and Gonzalez are producing.

May 25, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros third baseman Luis Valbuena (18) celebrates with first baseman Marwin Gonzalez (9) after hitting a home run during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
May 25, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros third baseman Luis Valbuena (18) celebrates with first baseman Marwin Gonzalez (9) after hitting a home run during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Another reason that Luhnow gave is that “Marwin and Luis are playing well” at the moment. After a slow start to the 2016 season, Valbuena has heated up in the past 30 games, hitting .292 with seven homers and16 RBI’s. This is not including last night’s 2-3 night with a double and two walks. Valbuena has raised his batting average to a semi-respectable .250 with eight homers and 22 RBI’s. Has he done enough to hold Worth or Gonzalez off of third base? Why yes, yes he has! Worth can still play third base when Valbuena is playing first base.

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The 27-year-old Gonzalez, who is the utility infielder, appears to be the main first baseman for now because they like him hitting second when Worth is not in the lineup. He’s a contact hitter who has not had the success that Valbuena has, but he can make contact to at least move up George Springer or get on base with a walk. In the past 30-games, Gonzalez is hitting .258/ two homers/ 5 RBI, not including last night’s one for three night with a walk.

Overall, Gonzalez’s value comes as the guy who can play anywhere, who has surprising pop with five homers on the season. As an everyday first baseman, does he do enough to warrant playing time? That is what Luhnow and A.J. Hinch have to decide.

Valid reason? I agree that Valbuena has done enough to earn the bulk of the playing time, but wouldn’t we be better with at least a platoon at first base with Reed getting the majority of the playing time with Gonzalez starting against lefties? I think we can do better here.

Next: Reason 3

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