Before Friday’s contest, the Houston Astros placed Yordan Alvarez on the paternity list, as they recalled Taylor Jones from Triple-A. While down Alvarez, Yuli Gurriel (rest) and Kyle Tucker (back spams), they still rolled past the Cleveland Indians, 6-3.
With Lance McCullers Jr. surrendering two runs on six hits and four walks, the right-hander also fanned eight. The runs he allowed came off a three-run home run that Brooks Raley allowed in his relief; these situations are supposed to be where Raley works best.
With players out this weekend, here is one player who should play more and one that should play less.
Gurriel’s rest day meant that either Taylor Jones or Abraham Toro would take over at first base. But as Tucker was scratched from the lineup, Jones was tossed into the outfield and Toro went to first.
The platooning of Robel Garcia and Toro has been evident in Bregman’s absence. Both players are switch hitters, but Garcia is better left-handed while Toro is better right-handed. This shouldn’t be the case anymore, as Garcia struggles to make routine plays at third base.
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While mainly a shortstop, Garcia still isn’t performing at a higher effective level than his competition in Toro. Over the last week, both hitters numbers have dropped, but defense should be the first thought with both not producing at the same level in the box.
Garcia went 0-for-4 on Friday, while Toro went 0-for-2 with two runs, two walks and an RBI. This difference doesn’t solely rely on hits, while these two are just looking to produce and score runs. Moving forward, we should see less consistent starts from Garcia at the hot corner.
In the outfield, Alvarez will be away until the Astros return home on Monday, so why not give more starts to Chas McCormick? The ballad of McCormick seems like we see a hot stretch then no playing time then another hot stretch. The right-hander slashed 2-for-3 on Friday with a run and two RBI.
As Michael Brantley’s legs look to be rested down the stretch, McCormick can start in left field, as Brantley is the DH. It is an easy solution for the time being, as McCormick is now slashing .400/.417/.760 with runners in scoring position this season.
The Astros are in position to not lose the series, as they continue to play Cleveland on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. with Jake Odorizzi matching up against right-hander Eli Morgan.