Alex Bregman to play third base tonight for the Astros.
Hours before Houston Astros prospect Alex Bregman makes his highly anticipated debut; Richard Justice got the inside scoop on the plans for Bregman tonight. How does he get this info hours before the lineups are released, because Justice is kind of a big deal? Around noon central, Justice Tweeted that the Astros will play Bregman at third base tonight and will bat him sixth.
On Talking Stros last night, we guessed he would play third base but were split on where he would bat. My co-host Brandon is right again, don’t tell him I said that. You can read my thoughts about Bregman’s debut that I wrote earlier here: Alex Bregman: Where will the Astros prospect hit and play?
Now that we know where Bregman will play and hit tonight, you can’t help but wonder about the rest of the week. Here comes Justice once again to save the day. Justice says that Bregman will probably play left field on Tuesday night and will be the designated hitter on Wednesday. This could be the way that the Astros use Bregman, just rotate him between third base and the outfield.
This Week’s Talking Stros.
The Astros are extremely happy with Luis Valbuena‘s defense at third base, so they want him to get playing time there. The Astros seem to like the defense that Marwin Gonzalez offers at first base, so Bregman playing left, third, and DH opens playing time for the others. Except for the top of the batting order, the Astros lineup fluctuates on a daily basis anyway. If Bregman can master left field, he will help increase the flexibility of the Astros roster.
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What about mid-August when Yulieski Gurriel is ready? Justice did address this as well. They plan on using Gurriel at first and third base this season. Valbuena will most likely not return in 2017 with the presence of Gurriel and Bregman capable of playing third base. Unless there is an injury, I don’t expect to see A.J. Reed up anytime soon with the current roster makeup. Reed might be the designated hitter next season if Gurriel is playing first.
As I mentioned yesterday on Talking Stros, Imagine how good this team will be once Bregman and Gurriel join the Astros? I see Bregman eventually moving up to the second spot in the order with Gurriel batting sixth to keep the lefty Valbuena hitting behind Carlos Correa. This team will be an offensive threat down the stretch.
For now, let’s see how Bregman does versus the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers this week. While he is cocky enough not to be intimidated too much tonight, curb your expectations for the second overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft in his debut. He is a professional hitter who could get the Astros beyond the first round in 2016.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***