Many Astros fans are surprised to see Jake Marisnick be demoted.
Now that we know that Kyle Tucker is set to make his debut in about an hour, fans want to know why Jake Marisnick was demoted? The day after Marisnick laid out and made a highlight-reel catch, that’s how you reward him? Marisnick has many devoted fans who claim that he’s only here for the defense and what he does with the bat is a plus. There are more Marisnick fans out there than you would think, not just the ladies.
According to AJ Hinch via Brian McTaggart, Marisnick took this second demotion hard. Hinch said that the factors were against him despite his success recently. They had some things offensively that they would like for him to work on in Triple-A. As I wrote earlier, this could be a blessing in disguise for Marisnick as he will get regular at-bats with the Grizzlies.
Marisnick batted .314 with three homers and seven RBI over the last 28 games via Baseball-Reference.
A confident Marisnick would be valuable in October.
Hinch also mentioned that he still expects Marisnick to be a factor down the stretch and into October. The Astros made their choice. They sent down Marisnick instead of Tony Kemp or Tyler White. White is needed in the infield while Carlos Correa remains on the DL with back soreness. Marwin Gonzalez is playing primarily at shortstop, so Tucker was needed to be an everyday guy.
That leaves it as a choice between Marisnick and Kemp. Like most people, I was surprised to see the Astros actually send Marisnick down. We all know what he can do defensively. But with Tucker taking over as the left-fielder, they won’t need as many defensive replacement innings. Kemp may not make all the plays that Marisnick can. We have seen some great plays from Kemp. His arm may not be as strong as Marisnick’s, but he typically gets the job done.
Kemp will be a part-time player now.
Hinch said before today’s game that he has already talked to Kemp. He explained that Kemp will lose playing time but that he will take over Marisnick’s reps in centerfield. This would leave Kemp to get 1-2 starts a week with pinch hitting and defensive replacement assignments. The Astros probably felt more comfortable with Kemp’s .795 OPS versus Marisnick’s .594 OPS.
Marisnick has a 42.3% strikeout rate could make Hinch a little hesitant pinch-hitting him in a big situation. Kemp has maintained a 9.5% strikeout rate in 100 plus at-bats, so he would be more likely to make contact. If you are looking for the big fly, Marisnick has seven homers compared to Kemp’s two homers. But that would also go back to Kemp seeking contact versus trying to drive the ball. Stats from Fangraphs.
I’m not sure if I have the answer that fans want, they just wanted Kemp on the 25-man active roster.
Did the Astros make the right choice? It is too soon to make that determination. They wanted to see what Tucker could offer before the trade deadline. After trading Jon Kemmer and James Hoyt yesterday, this allows for Tucker to finally make his debut. I could imagine a playoff roster that has both Marisnick and Kemp on it. It’s not goodbye. It’s we will see you soon, like in September if not sooner.