The Astros shuffle the lineup a little to spark offense

SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 16: Jose Altuve
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 16: Jose Altuve /

There is a slight change in the Astros lineup for tonight’s game.

If you are an Astros fan, you know that they just won the World Series in 2017. If you are an Astros fan, you are frustrated with the offense. The hitters have wasted four outstanding starts in a row by the rotation. Even the best teams go through the rough patches, did we forget about August of 2017?

The good news about when a team struggles, most of the time the team changes things. Last year, the Astros ended up trading for Justin Verlander. That move ended up changing history, or should we say, earning history. However, sometimes a move is not needed, just to stay patient and believe in your players.

We have seen the evolution of Astros’ manager from being a manager with many different lineups throughout the season. While he still changes the bottom of the lineup based on the matchups, he leaves certain hitters alone. George Springer will typically leadoff, Jose Altuve hits third, and Carlos Correa will hit cleanup.  This is just what the Astros do.

As mentioned earlier, the offense has sputtered recently.

They have scored one run in each of the last two games, after scoring three and five runs Friday and Saturday. The Astros have lost 5 of their last six games. With those losses, they fall to 10-7 on the season. Unfortunately, the Angels have gotten off to a hot start. However, an article written by Ric Sweeney will help you not worry about the Angels. It will post in the AM.

With the idea of winning back to back championships, the Astros need to start hitting. Personally, I’m not worried about a 17-game stretch. They have 145 games left, and this team has not forgotten how to hit all of a sudden. Give the offense time. They will shape up.

Hinch has made a lineup change for tonight’s game. Springer is still leading off. I remember when it was Altuve hitting the leadoff homers, but the Astros made a change. Springer just seems to do better hitting leadoff, go figure. Alex Bregman normally hits second, but Josh Reddick has hit second as well. One thing we have learned about Bregman, he is a slow starter. But we have seen what he can do on the big stage in the playoffs.

A small change.

Tonight, Altuve moves up to hit second. Wait, I thought your best hitter hits third? The trend these days is to hit your best hitter second, like Mike Trout and Aaron Judge. Ouch, that hurt saying it. This is a first for the Astros, Altuve not hitting third.

Bregman is hitting .212 with a .619 OPS. His slow start should be commonplace by now, but he drops to fifth. Hello Correa, you are batting third tonight. Yuli Gurriel moves up to the cleanup hitter.  These changes are not drastic but could be looking to get more consistency in the top three hitters. Altuve has not hit for the power we are used to, but he is still batting .323.

Next: Astros Minor League Recap April 9 – 15: Grizzlies surge into first place

We will look deeper into why the struggles continue if they do. For now, let’s think of it as just a matter of time until it breaks out. This team is still one of the best in baseball, just imagine what it will be like if the offense catches up to the pitching. Too soon to panic, but the move is a bold one.

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***