The Houston Astros were struck a bad hand, as Jose Altuve hit a long stint on the injured list after testing positive for COVID-19. The 2017 MVP has taken the reigns in the leadoff spot, and although having a sufficient start, Altuve hasn’t been doing his duty of getting on base.
While looking at his last seven games, the right-hander has a regressed stat line in his return to the lineup. Altuve is hitting .172/.188/.207 with five hits and one walk in his last 29 at bats, although mostly known for his great numbers in the three-hole, the right-hander could favor better with runners on base in front of him.
While driving in some runs, could Jose Altuve favor in another part of the lineup?
As the order doesn’t truly matter the third time through, Altuve would benefit better in the three-hole. I have brought this idea up before, and while runs lead to wins, Altuve is driving in runs later into ball games when a few of the batters in front of him are getting on base.
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Although Altuve isn’t striking out a lot, the right-hander has had a decent discipline at the plate, but his high chase rate is leading to his six strikeouts in past seven games. While being in a different role compared to his previous seasons, Altuve will need to start hitting to get on base, unless hitters like Myles Straw and Martin Maldonado start to get on base more in front of him.
This isn’t a diss whatsoever for a top three second baseman in the league, but all and all, Altuve is best suited in the three-hole and either Carlos Correa or Alex Bregman should lead off, as they are getting on base well.
The right-hander will soon shake out of this funk from being on the injured list, and it would be immaculate if he pulls it off against the New York Yankees. With so much hate from opposing fans, it will be an easy turn around for a player that has overcome so much on and off the field.