Astros: Have We Seen the Last of Marwin Gonzalez?
Marwin Gonzalez was signed to a minor-league deal right before September, making him eligible for the 2021 postseason. The Houston Astros‘ utility player didn’t hit the league average, as he possibly saw his last game in Houston on Sunday.
Gonzalez slashed .176/.222/.441 in 34 at-bats in his return to Houston, accounting for only six hits (three being home runs). There looked to be a resurgence of power for the switch-hitter, as he only dropped two long balls in 242 at-bats with Boston this season.
While starting at first base then moving to third to close out the final regular season contest, Gonzalez is most likely not in the future plans for the organization, but will he make the postseason roster? There is a lot to divvy up, as this will be the first season with a 26-man postseason roster for general manager James Click, as it was a 28-man in 2020.
With a roster expected soon, have we see the last days of Marwin Gonzalez (again)?
Most teams won’t carry a total of 13 pitchers into the Division Series, as there are less games up for grabs. This allows for a deeper bench, where the Astros could add another outfielder, catcher or utility player like Gonzalez.
Gonzalez can play a wide-range of positions, but at 32-years-old, the right-hander has seen less time in the outfield compared to seasons past. Since returning to Houston, Gonzalez has played a total of 57 innings in the field: 25 at third base, 14 at first base and 18 at second base.
That’s it. Gonzalez committed two errors during that time, both coming at second base. And while deemed a clutch hitter with postseason experience, the switch-hitter has a career .230/.304/.372 slash line over 113 at-bats in October and early November.
Of course, he will still be able to sit with the team in the dugout, but does he make the postseason roster over players like Garrett Stubbs, Jose Siri and Taylor Jones? The answer might be “yes.” Siri recently fractured his right-pinkie finger sliding into third base, and with no more on his current situation, Siri would have been a pinch-runner option for the ALDS based on his speed.
In years past the Astros have only carried two catchers into the ALDS, but in 2020 with the expanded roster, Click had Stubbs as well. This is a possibility for the best of five series, as Stubbs has shown versatility at second base and in left field as well.
Taylor Jones was on fire before he tested positive for COVID-19 in late August. The primary first baseman was slashing .306/.300/.571 in his previous 49 at-bats, as he never made his way back to the majors before the season ended.
Jones was having a resurgent second half, that consisted of no major-league games played in the month of September. After being activated from the injured list, he was optioned immediately, as he finished out his season in Triple-A.
Due to these factors, Gonzalez is an option for the last postseason seat. It just all depends on the healthiness of certain players, while it would behoove the Astros to have a utility man behind Aledmys Diaz.