As the Houston Astros swept the Oakland A’s out of their own Coliseum, prospect Chas McCormick continued to make his name known. While Michael Brantley was out of the lineup, the left-hander might be dodging the injured list, but the team will continue to monitor his healing. This leaves an opportunity for McCormick to keep showing out.
While the Astros’ bats have continued their tear of eight or more runs a game, the pitching staff is progressing well early in the season. As Jose Urquidy made his 2021 debut, the right-hander was the first Astros’ pitcher to reach 100 pitches and did it through four and a third innings, while Brandon Bielak was dealing in long relief. It is early in the season, so long outings aren’t the main thing to worry about, as they look to dominant good hitting.
With McCormick playing well, how will he shake out in the Astros’ lineup moving forward?
As an unfamiliar name to the 2020 Wild Card and ALDS rosters, McCormick has become a quick fan and media favorite with his great approach to the game and to reporters after it. Although going one-for-four today, the right-hander ripped his first major league home run, while bringing in two runners as well:
The Astros demolished the A’s once again, 9-2, and completed the sweep. While being one of the hottest team to open the season, Houston currently has a run differential of +26 through four games. Although having Brantley day-to-day, they can rely on McCormick and his left-handed mitt in left field.
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While having the ability to play across the outfield, the left-hander will most likely be a defensive adjustment late in games once Brantley is healthy again, but he proved over the last two games that he was the correct choice for the fourth outfielding spot. As the timetable hasn’t been announced for Brantley, it makes the most sense for McCormick to start in left until Brantley is fully healthy and as the ninth hitter, but this could change with Martin Maldonado in the lineup.
Jason Castro also made his way back to the Astros’ lineup for the first time since 2016. In his first at bat, the left-hander shot an opposite-field home run, and it is starting to feel like this team is deep. With Aledmys Diaz and Robel Garcia being able to play the infield and left field, this team can adjust anyway possible, while they also rested Alex Bregman late in the game once again.
The Astros are back on the field on Monday against the Los Angeles Angels at 8:38 p.m. with Luis Garcia matching up against Jose Quintana. This will be a quick two-game set, before the Astros return to Houston for their first home stand of 2021. Also, the emergency catcher depth was announced with Aledmys Diaz, Robel Garcia and Abraham Toro rounding out the group in that order. It is interesting to think about since Alex Bregman was a catcher, before he arrived to LSU.