The Aoki versus Fisher battle resumes for the Astros!
The Houston Astros win again, for the 45th time of the year. After struggling, losing six of the last ten games, the offense breaks out. Everyone knew the Astros wouldn’t struggle too long, the injuries to the pitching staff aren’t helping. But Francis Martes made a big step yesterday in his development.
Let’s focus on Martes later. The more interesting topic is Derek Fisher. While one game doesn’t make or break someone’s career, ask Scooter Gennett, it helps. Even if it’s only one game, Fisher demonstrated how he plays baseball. The only thing that we didn’t see was him steal a base.
He was only promoted after Josh Reddick went on the 7-day concussion DL. With such a stay on the DL, many believed that Fisher’s first stint with the would be short. Then he went all George Springer in his first game reaching base four times. Fisher’s first hit was a homer. It will be easy to put Fisher’s name back in the lineup for Friday, but…
Who’s on the chopping block?
Fisher showed good patience with two walks and a great swing. Astros fans may have gotten attached to him already. He may be going back down in five days. The Astros have invested in Reddick for the next five years. He’s not going anywhere. Plus, you can’t discard a big part of the team culture for a shiny new toy.
Carlos Beltran, Jake Marisnick, and Springer are all safe as well. That leaves Nori Aoki as the odd man out. You can imagine Aoki walking into the locker room and seeing a pink slip in his locker. The Astros got a little extra publicity with Aoki reaching 2000 hits between Japan and MLB.
Aoki’s time in Houston limited?
Aoki’s bat has woken up recently. He has a slash line of .279/ .325/ .343/ .668, all career lows. He has one homer and 11 RBIs with only 20 strikeouts in 140 at-bats. Aoki is not an everyday player, but Fisher is. If he is up with the Stros, he will be playing most games.
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Aoki is a one dimensional player with a good arm in the outfield. Fisher is a multidimensional player with not as good of an arm in the outfield. Aoki has a $5.5 million dollar price tag this year with one more year of arbitration before he hits free agency. However, Fisher will make peanuts compared to what Aoki will make next year.
A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow have a hard decision over the next few days. What do we do with Fisher? Could he be traded? Yes, but once a player gets settled in with the big league team, you have the Alex Bregman effect. The player becomes part of the team and fans will not want to trade him.
I even had a fan tweet me after the game saying that we can trade Kyle Tucker instead of Fisher. Guys, I hate to bring this up, but Tucker is better than Fisher. What will the Astros do when Reddick comes back? Not sure, but sit back and watch Fisher play while you can.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***