Astros: Jake Marisnick optioned to Fresno
By Cody Poage
The Astros are shaking things up on the active roster.
If you haven’t paid attention lately, the Astros‘ offense hasn’t been clicking on all cylinders. Sure, the team is 27-17 on the season. Quite good. But the inconsistency is noticeable from the bats. There are times when a team has to shake things up.
Enter Wednesday’s news about Jake Marisnick.
Yes, the Astros have optioned a fan-favorite in Marisnick to the Fresno Grizzlies, the team’s Triple-A affiliate. Despite the fanbase’s fondness for Marisnick, the news isn’t exactly shocking development. In a way, it became somewhat expected.
In 34 games this season, Marisnick has contributed a negative 0.3 fWAR. That’s not good, even for a backup outfielder. In 87 plate appearances, the age-27 outfielder posted a paltry 11 wRC+ with three home runs and a 47.1% strikeout rate. And two of those home runs came in the Astros’ Opening Series against the Rangers.
Again, it is easy to see why the Astros made the decision to option Marisnick to Fresno. If Marisnick can rediscover his hitting form from last season when hit 16 home runs in 259 plate appearances, then the team will surely recall him from Fresno. But it was becoming clear that Marisnick needed some time to rediscover his swing.
Looking ahead, the Astros now have an open spot on the active roster.
Per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle, there are two players who’ll likely replace Marisnick on the active roster: J.D. Davis and Tony Kemp.
Davis – .407/.460/.610, 3 HR, 31 RBI, 182 wRC+, .505 BABIP
Kemp – .335/.407/.435, 125 wRC+, 33 R, .367 BABIP
Both Davis and Kemp have been terrific in the early going for the Fresno Grizzlies. The question is whether the Astros want someone on the roster who can hit for power like Davis, or someone with a solid hit tool that can play the outfield.
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Davis may have advantage due to his Spring Training performance and he did spend a brief amount of time with the major league club before Yuli Gurriel returned from his injury and suspension. However, Kemp would fill the void left by Marisnick in terms of his fielding abilities in the outfield.
**Statistics and information courtesy of FanGraphs**