While the battle rages on, there is a feeling that the Astros will give J.D. Davis the nod for the platoon for first base.
We are two weeks away from the Houston Astros opening series versus the Rangers in Arlington. There is only one of the 25 roster spots in flux with Yuli Gurriel’s injury. The final decision has not been made at this time, but the battle rages on.
Let’s take a look at the epic battle for the temporary platoon job at first base with Gurriel out. In the 2-3 weeks, while Gurriel is out, Marwin Gonzalez will be playing some first base. However, A.J. Hinch has to choose between A.J. Reed, Tyler White, and J.D. Davis.
I did a survey that received 437 votes, most fans have said they think the winner would be Davis. With 54% of the votes, Davis has been the most consistent this spring with the bat. Like I said on Talking Stros, I think that White would be the safe bet. He’s a great hitter and has the most MLB experience. If right, Reed would offer the left-handed power option the Astros lack.
Do the Astros know who they want?
Through Jerome Solomon, Hinch offered some thoughts of the battle. Hinch said there are days that he feels like they need the left-handed bat of Reed. However, there are concerns about how the lineup would look when he starts. Hinch says who he chooses to make the team would affect Derek Fisher, Jake Marisnick, and Gonzalez. Reed can only DH or play first.
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One of the reasons that Hinch bats Josh Reddick second is to not line up the bottom of the order with left-handed hitters. If he does that, he opens the door for the opposing team to bring in a left-handed reliever. That’s also why he does it versus left-handed starters as well. However, the allure of Reed’s power potential could be tempting to make it work.
Solomon also wrote that Hinch says there are days where he thinks he should go with versatility. That would mean that they would choose between White and Davis. They can both play first, third, and left-field. White has played some second base this spring. Outside of White’s batting average, they are pretty similar to each other.
Reed started off the spring slow, but now batting .317 with two homers and four RBIs and a .928 OPS. Davis is hitting .361 with two homers and four RBIs and a 1.021 OPS. White is batting .250 with one homer and eight RBIs and a .875 OPS. Hinch is doing a good job spreading out the playing time this spring. We should know more soon.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference and MLB.com***