Houston Astros: The Aoki versus Fisher debate begins

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Mar 24, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Houston Astros center fielder Derek Fisher (77) connects for a base hit during a spring training game against the New York Mets at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 24, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Houston Astros center fielder Derek Fisher (77) connects for a base hit during a spring training game against the New York Mets at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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What should the Houston Astros do with Derek Fisher?

May 24, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Norichika Aoki (3) gets an RBI with a sacrifice fly during the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
May 24, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Norichika Aoki (3) gets an RBI with a sacrifice fly during the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

With the 40-16 record, the Houston Astros are riding high. The offense has hidden the struggles of the starting rotation at times. Houston ranks third in the MLB in runs scored per game at 5.44 and second with 9.47 hits per game. This is a legit offense that is built to win longtime!

Let’s take a look at the moves that the Astros made over the offseason. They added three outfielders. They claimed Nori Aoki off waivers and signed Carlos Beltran and Josh Reddick via free agency. I get the latter two moves, but Aoki became expendable with the addition of the other two.

Aoki is basically a matchup platoon player at this point. He got off to a hot start, but Jake Marisnick and Marwin Gonzalez deserve playing time over Aoki. What he represents is the player who plays left field when there is a left-hander on the mound. Aoki bats left and had a history of not striking out much and being a pesky player.

How valuable is Aoki?

Should the Astros have the reversed record at this point of the year, Aoki would have probably been released by now. Why fix something that ain’t broken? Sorry for the grammar there, it was intentional. Aoki better watch out for a player at Triple-A who is on fire.

Derek Fisher will be forever remembered as the guy we got with a pick in the Bud Norris trade. Fisher was drafted with the competitive balance pick between the first and second round of the 2014 draft. While always a good player in the minors since being drafted, he has risen to the next level this year.

Think of the seasons we remember from George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Alex Bregman in the minors. Right on the cusp of being called up, they were crushing the competition showing they were ready for the big time. I remember telling a season ticket representative that I would not buy season tickets until Springer was promoted. A few years later I fulfilled my promise and became a season ticket holder, as has Springer and the others.

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