Houston Astros: A.J. Hinch Talks About the 2017 Lineup

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Sep 25, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch (14) pins up the batting lineup before the Astros play the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch (14) pins up the batting lineup before the Astros play the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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A.J. Hinch joined Talking Stros and talked about the Houston Astros lineup for next season.

After many additions to the Houston Astros so far this offseason, one of the most interesting parts that are yet to be determined. What we all want to know is who will play and where they will be in the lineup?This question has been on the mind of fans this winter, and we may finally have our answer. Manager A.J. Hinch went on Talking Stros Wednesday night and provided some insight on how the team will lineup come April.

The first subject that Hinch spoke about was with the leadoff spot. Similarly to what he said at the winter meetings, Hinch confirmed that George Springer would most likely retain his spot at the top of the order. Hinch said that he loves Springer’s ability to get on base and draw walks. Hitting in the leadoff spot “contributes to him being a more well-rounded offensive player.”

Who bats second?

Hinch said that he has one spot in particular in the lineup that will be the most challenging to figure out: the second spot. This part of the lineup was previously taken by Bregman when he was called up last year. Hinch said that he could see Bregman hitting in that spot again. But, also Yulieski Gurriel and Josh Reddick could get a look there.

He also said that people who hit well against lefties or righties could move up in the order whenever those pitchers are pitching. An example he gave was that Reddick and Beltran could move up whenever right-handed pitchers are pitching against the Astros due to how well they hit against them.

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The bottom of the lineup.

Hinch is going to have many options when filling out the bottom of his order this season. He said that guys that would normally hit in the fifth or sixth spots like Gattis, McCann, Gurriel, and Gonzales would round out the bottom of the lineup for the team this year. The lineup for the team is very deep this year, and Astros fans should be very excited to see the offense Hinch puts out each day. Hinch himself said that the deepness of the lineup “seems like a luxury to me.”

One player on the Astros that will have a different role this upcoming season is Evan Gattis. Last year, he was primarily the Designated Hitter and also the backup catcher. Gattis will mostly complement newly acquired catcher Brian McCann. He may see some DH starts whenever Beltran is in left field, but he will “soft platoon” with McCann most of the time. Last year’s team leader in home runs will have to earn his playing time this year, and that speaks volumes to the talent that exists on the Astros.

Next: What to expect from Carlos Beltran in 2017

This season will be like no other for the Houston Astros. With potentially the best offense in team history, players will have to perform well to earn their playing time. Hinch will have a tough time making a lineup each day, but he is up to the challenge and, just like the fans, ready for the season to begin.

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