Two appearances as a pinch runner. That is the only action Derek Fisher saw throughout the Astros’ ALDS with the Red Sox. Barring an injury, it is unlikely Fisher will see much playing time in the ALCS.
This is quite frankly of no surprise. The Astros’ outfield is already full with George Springer, Josh Reddick and Cameron Maybin. Also, Marwin Gonzalez will receive plenty of playing time in left field due to his bat. You have to keep the team’s RBI leader in 2017 in the lineup somewhere. And, yes, I know RBI is kind of a useless statistic. Oh, let’s not forget about Jake Marisnick. He could possibly return for thr World Series, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Anyway, Fisher is unlikely to appear in a meaningful postseason role unless injury or ejection is involved. But no Marisnick in the ALCS may sway the Astros. And the team may rather have an additional outfielder if something bad were to happen. If an injury occurred in the infield, Gonzalez would likely transition back to diamond. Maybin is used more as a pinch runner and defensive replacement on this roster. Keeping Fisher on the roster may allow the Astros some flexibility without sacrificing the outfield. I have a feeling that it may come down to Fisher or the player on the next slide if Houston chooses to carry another pitcher.
Fisher has to be considered one of the Astros’ building pieces in the foreseeable future. Barring a trade, his role will likely increase with the club next season. After all, there is no guarantee that either Carlos Beltran or Evan Gattis will return to the Astros. While he may make the ALCS roster, there is no guarantee he will be used extensively. Or at all.