Josh Bell would provide lineup depth on a completely healthy Astros team.
The Houston Astros, for the first time in their golden era, are weaker offensively than they are at pitching. After witnessing some historic offenses in the past five years, they are now relying on their rotation and bullpen to win games whenever their offense sputters.
The seven through nine hitters of their lineup have been less than stellar this season. Whether it’s a combination of Chas McCormick, Jake Meyers or Aledmys Diaz, they’ve just not performed well enough for a team with championship aspirations.
The addition of Bell would lengthen the lineup and put these players in the positions they should be in: as defensive replacements, pinch runners and pinch hitters, not starters.
This is what the Astros’ lineup could look like, completely healthy, with Bell:
- Jose Altuve 2B
- Michael Brantley RF
- Alex Bregman 3B
- Yordan Alvarez LF
- Kyle Tucker CF
- Yuli Gurriel 1B
- Josh Bell DH
- Jeremy Pena SS
- Martin Maldanado C
Bench: Jake Meyers OF, Chas McCormick OF, Aledmys Diaz UTIL, Jason Castro C
This is not how I would make the lineup but I’m just guessing what it would look like based off of manager Dusty Baker’s penchant for lefty-righty alternating and having contact-heavy guys at the top of the lineup.
That said, if the Astros are fully healthy with Josh Bell, they’ll have talented hitters from the one through the eight slots in the lineup. Defensively, they do get worse with Alvarez in left, Brantley in right, and Tucker in center. But, the impact offensively will far outweigh any defensive deficiencies this team suffers.
And as for the last reason Josh Bell makes sense: the cost it would take to acquire him.