Jeff Bagwell and Dusty Baker gave conflicting Michael Brantley updates
Fanfest is today! Always one of the off-season highlights, Fanfest reunites Astros fans with players, the coaching staff, and even front office members. Fans are able to sit in on interviews, take batting practice swings down in the cage, visit autograph sessions and plenty more.
Countless intriguing sound bites come out of a day like today, and we’ll be reacting to all of them.
We broke down the whispers of a potential Yuli Gurriel reunion. Now we'll take a look at the conflicting updates from Jeff Bagwell and Dusty Baker on the health of Michael Brantley.
Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle first shared Baker's update, one with an interesting comparison.
Now, this quote does lend itself to a couple of questions. First, how is the manager unsure if Uncle Mike is hitting or not? Dusty and the Astros always operate with their cards close to the chest, but it's not like a competitive advantage will be gained by keeping that info in-house.
Secondly, Kawhi Leonard? The Clippers mortgaged their future for Leonard and a Paul George pairing. If Leonard doesn't play, they have no hope of winning. Don't get me wrong, Uncle Mike is a massive piece, but the Astros just won the World Series without him. He isn't going to "carry" the lineup. If anybody on the team carries the lineup, it will be either Yordan, Altuve, Bregman or Tucker.
When asked about Brantley's health, Jeff Bagwell said the left fielder will be good to go on Opening Day.
Will he play or won't he? It sounds like that remains to be seen. Especially with the incentives built into his contract.
One thing is certain--if he is healthy come October, the Astros become even more devastating. They bring back most of their rotation, all of their bullpen, and can add Jose Abreu and Brantley to a lineup that was already phenomenal.
If Brantley doesn't play Opening Day, it may be eye-opening, but not yet alarming. The Astros should win the AL West, albeit not as easily as years prior. As long as they are healthy come October, Brantley included, that is all that will really matter.