Michael Brantley will be returning to the Houston Astros soon, so let’s explore who Kyle Tucker is most likely to replace.
After Kyle Tucker erupted in a four-hit game with two triples and a homerun—a Houston Astros record—many accepted that Kyle Tucker had arrived. All of his hits registered exit velocities of 99 miles-per-hour or more. He was plain spanking the ball.
Speaking of not a moment too soon, it was then announced that Michael Brantley would be returning at the weekend from his own stint on the IL, meaning that the traditional outfield three of Josh Reddick–George Springer-Michael Brantley is back in business and Kyle Tucker could seemingly be left out in the cold.
With Kyle Tucker’s stock rocketing, he has his pick of who he replaces
Only that isn’t really the case at all.
It may sound silly to call it a benefit, but one “benefit” to having so many injuries is that the DH spot is wide open. Michael Brantley has been filling the DH role quite frequently and some even believe that Tucker’s best future would be at DH, at least until Alvarez returns.
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Suffice to say that Brantley’s return does absolutely nothing to the surging Kyle Tucker, who is second on the team in RBIs, believe it or not.
Fans have been waiting to see Tucker erupt all season, and even as I write, he just hit another RBI triple against the Rockies, so safe to say the continuation is in progress.
So the better question is which of these three outfielders is Kyle Tucker most likely to replace both in the short-term and the long-term. The short-term has already been answered. Chances are he will play in Brantley’s position with Brantley moving to DH. But long-term? That’s a different conversation.
All three of these guys are pending free agents, which means that conceivably, Tucker could have his pick of the litter. If all three move on, Tucker will be one to replace them, but in terms of who will resign, I want to optimistically say Springer is the most likely to stay. Not to mention centerfield isn’t really Tucker’s place anyway.
Putting him at either corner outfield spot, neither of which I have any preference of him taking. It’ll all depend on who goes and who stays. Frankly, I’d rather see Brantley stay than Reddick, but Reddick is the better fielder.
More likely—both guys leave. And regardless of who stays or goes, Tucker is going to be starting for a long time if he makes things look as easy as he has been lately.