Astros: Battle for first base is heating up

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 02: J.D. Davis
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 02: J.D. Davis /
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Looking ahead, the Astros may have a difficult decision to make at first base.

Yuli Gurriel is likely out until late April or early May as he recovers from surgery on his left hand. Then there is the matter of his five-game suspension immediately afterward. The Astros will be relying on a younger player at first base for a little while.

Enter J.D. Davis, A.J. Reed, and Tyler White.

Now, spring training statistics quite frankly don’t matter. I cannot reiterate this tidbit enough. Sure, there could be something to spring training statistics, but the figures are not used as a predictive indicator of future success. And it never should.

That said, Davis, Reed, and White have shown glimpses of why they are contending for an active roster spot. More recently, Davis and Reed have turned it on at the plate. On Tuesday, Davis turned in a three-hit day against the Mets. He now has a 1.384 OPS in nine games.

On the same day, Reed had his second home of spring training while also making his case for an active roster spot. Reed’s overall numbers aren’t sexy, yet he has shown improvement this week.

White, in the meantime, has seen his batting fall to .188/.458/.313 in spring training. Again, there is little reason to put your faith in the numbers. But White’s versatility around the diamond will be a factor as well.

Next: The Anthony Gose experiment appears to be over

As spring training continues to trek onwards, the Astros will have a choice to make in the coming weeks. On the one hand, the job should be a rather short-term look as Gurriel could be back in late April. On the other, whoever ends up with the job could make the decision quite difficult for the Astros. After all, it would be difficult to demote a player posting respectable numbers as a hitter. Not saying that Davis, Reed, or White would do that, but the thought isn’t outlandish. But this Astros’ roster is deep. Quite deep. Performing well doesn’t necessarily guarantee anything on this team anymore. Only time will tell, though.

**Statistics and information courtesy of MLB.com**