Jose Altuve asked Dusty Bake to be moved down in the starting order, but in the Houston Astros lineup, is there really a “down”?
In selfless fashion, typical of Jose Altuve, the former MVP came into the Houston Astros opener against Seattle and asked Dusty Baker to be moved down in the order, saying that he understood that he wasn’t helping the team where he was, and that other guys were swinging the bat better.
Baker acquiesced to Altuver’s request and batted him seventh in the order, the first time he has batted below fifth since 2012.
Altuve went 1-3 with an RBI, a sharp lineout, and maybe a bit more optimism than he had prior to the game. But when you really get down to it, did Baker really move Altuve “down” in the order?
Jose Altuve moved down the order, but not really
I guess, without wanting to sound too abstract, of course Baker did. Seventh is below second, so yes, Altuve did move “down” the order.
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But I’m of the opinion that there really isn’t a “down” in the Astros order. Especially not in the front seven, which sounds like a silly concept, but regardless—the front seven is jam-packed with all-stars, so wherever you fit in that lineup, you’re on equal footing.
So while I get the notion of moving Altuve “down” in the order, and I hope it does do something for his mentality so that he can get back into his MVP form, I don’t see this as a demotion at all, self-inflicted or not. It’s more of just a relocation, if anything.
The fact that Altuve is batting so poorly and the Astros are on their best streak of the season is a testament to the quality of hitters around him. And as I’ve stated and stated, wherever you fit in that front seven of the order, you’re in a position to do damage. So wherever Altuve wants to fit himself in there is just fine. If anything the seventh hitter is most important because that’s the real “clean-up” hitter of the order.
Call it what you want, and I hope it helps his mentality, but there is no “down” in this Astros lineup.