Houston Astros: Post-Trade Deadline Ultimate Lineup


The trade deadline was a waiting game at times, and then it became an explosion of activity that will make the Houston Astros’ lineup look different going forward.  With a few added players, as well as a couple of departures from the MLB roster, both the starting lineup and pitching rotation will change compared to before. Lots of questions remain, however, based upon the recent play of Yuli Gurriel and Martin Maldonado who have been hitting well in recent weeks.

Going forward, the Astros will have to look at where Trey Mancini and Christian Vazquez will fit in the lineup to best support their postseason push.  As well, how will they address centerfield? Let’s take a look at my proposed ideal lineup following the trade deadline:

1. Altuve 2B

2. Mancini 1B

3. Alvarez LF

4. Bregman 3B

5. Tucker RF

6. Vazquez C

7. Peña SS

8. Gurriel DH

9. McCormick CF

Now that’s a lineup I can get behind!  Both Jose Altuve and Trey Mancini have power and hit for average, so there will be more chances for Yordan Alvarez to drive in runs at the three-hole.   Bregman has excelled in RBI situations this season and will continue to get an opportunity to do so.  Tucker is a very dangerous hitter when he’s on, and he has the power but not the consistency to take over the four-hole spot just yet.  Vazquez has the contact skills mixed with some power that makes him a dangerous six-hole guy and ensures he will also get the leftover runners on base from the heart of the lineup.  Both Mancini and Vazquez are great trade deadline adds to the lineup and should be regulars.

Peña is still growing in his game but has dangerous power when he makes contact and should get plenty of chances at good pitches in the seven spot. He should be followed up by Gurriel and McCormick who both have the same issue of battling tough pitches. Still, McCormick could be the best nine-hole guy in the league as his power can really take over if he gets pitches to hit, which he should because teams will want to avoid the top of the lineup.

Some might argue to put Tucker in center field with Yordan and Mancini in the corner outfield spots but that doesn’t really change the lineup much and under that alignment, the team will take a hit defensively for little in return. Had the Astros traded for another bat, they could have looked into that alternative but it’s not quite possible with their current roster. Plus, they have the benefit of Mancini being positionally interchangeable with both Alvarez and Gurriel. In all, this looks like a pretty tough lineup, and we would get the chance to see it if Dusty Baker toned back a bit on the micromanaging and let his talent loose.

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