Astros: Left field is not looking as problematic anymore
During an off day after the Houston Astros sweep the A’s, it’s a good chance to reflect on a few things.
With a few wasted pitching performances, the offense is looking to be the stable force it was last season en route to winning the World Series. Last year, the Astros had to rely a lot on Marwin Gonzalez in left field in the playoffs without Jake Marisnick on the team. This year, left field has been problematic.
Astros fans are counting down the days till Kyle Tucker is promoted. This could be as soon as early June or not at all this season. It all depends on how he is performing in Triple-A and if there was a need in Houston. When the offense was struggling, the primary focus has been directed at Evan Gattis and whoever was playing left field that day. We know that Gattis and the DH spot has struggled with a .532 OPS with only one homer.
For the sake of this post, let’s focus on the trio of Gonzalez, Derek Fisher, and Jake Marisnick. When Marisnick plays, George Springer shifts to right field and Josh Reddick. The left field spot in the lineup has a .228 batting average with a .717 OPS but does have five homers. That’s two more than Alex Bregman, who is on the verge of breaking out.
Let’s take a look at the third outfielder crew and how they are performing recently.
If you were to look at Fisher’s number, you would see someone in need of going down to Triple-A. He has a .194 batting average and a .711 OPS while striking out in almost half of his at-bats (29 k’s in 62 at-bats). Fisher has shown the power bat with four homer, two doubles, and two triples. We have not seen his speed regarding stolen bases as much as we expected, but he does have two steals on the season.
In his last seven days, he has a .333 batting average with a 1.444 OPS with two homers. Granted, that’s only in nine at-bats. During Wednesday’s game, Fisher crushed a 447-foot homer to center field. The A’s announcers said that they don’t remember too many balls going up into those seats. If he continues to heat up, this will delay Tucker’s debut. But someone else is cutting into Fisher’s playing time, that is the suddenly hot Gonzalez.
Like Fisher, Gonzalez’s numbers look like he is regressing back after breaking out last year. He has a .248 batting average with a .693 OPS but has 23 RBIs and 17 walks. It took a while for the power to come, but he does have three homers. In the past 14 days, Gonzalez batted .300 with a .806 OPS with two homers and ten RBIs. What’s more impressive is his 18 RBIs in the past 28 days. Gonzalez has more at-bats than Fisher, 125 compared to 62.
Gonzalez is the big bat that I predicted was about to get hot a few weeks back on Talking Stros.
Someone who still really hasn’t broken out yet is Marisnick. He has played more than Fisher, 80 at-bats, but has struck out more times (39). Marisnick is batting .150 with a .460 OPS, he does have three homers, but two of them came early in the season. In Marisnick’s last seven-days, he is batting .077 with the only hit being a double.
Next: Astros make a switch to the rotation for the Rangers series
Marisnick has a role on this team with his elite defense. Fisher has a role on this team for his elite speed on the bases. Gonzalez is the super utility guy that helps win championships. He is not going anywhere. Many players deserve a call-up to the Astros in J.D. Davis, Tyler White, Tony Kemp, and Tucker to name a few. The Astros have a 24-15 record with the Angels fighting to keep pace. The depth of this club is impressive.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***