Dana Brown Offers Valuable Insight Into Astros Position Battles

Houston Astros v St. Louis Cardinals
Houston Astros v St. Louis Cardinals / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Dana Brown sheds some light on the Astros outfield scenario

Astros GM Dana Brown spoke with Brian McTaggart of MLB.com on Monday and provided some intriguing quotes for Astros fans to digest and debate. Potentially most of note, Brown touched on the Astros position battle in the outfield, and what happens if Michael Brantley isn’t back by Opening Day. 

"If he’s not back, we have McCormick and Meyers, and it would be McCormick, Meyers and, of course, Tucker. You’re looking at some competition after that with Dirden, who’s been swinging the bat pretty well in camp."

Dana Brown

There are a lot of takeaways from so few words. First, Jake Meyers appears to be a lock for the Opening Day roster, and this is deserved. Jake was a revelation as a rookie in 2021 before struggling mightily in 2022 as he attempted to bounce back from injury. This spring, he’s strung together plenty of quality ABs and has played his traditional trademark defense. If Meyers can regain his form from 2021, the Astros have a certifiably elite outfield defense and another serviceable bat in the lineup. 

Notably absent from his quote—Mauricio DuBon. Now, the Astros do primarily view DuBon as a utility player rather than strictly an outfielder, but are we to assume that DuBon would be limited to starts strictly at short stop? After all, he was Justin Verlander’s “personal” center fielder last season. 

We recently outlined why Dubon shouldn’t make the roster. By all accounts, he appears to he a great human and his defensive versatility means another club should employ him—just not one trying to repeat as World Champs. Meyers’ resurgence has made DuBon expendable. 

Additionally, it’s hard not to get excited about Dirden potentially making the roster. The prospect has raked in his professional career and continued to do so this spring. If Uncle Mike can’t go early in the season, the rookie may very well have bashed his way into the big leagues. 

Either way, Brown said they would continue to scout Dirden and make a few tweaks to his approach, but he’s got a bright future in Houston. 

Brown also didn’t allude to Yordan playing the outfield. This could be nothing, but it could also be related to Yordan’s recent battles with his hand injury. Maybe he serves primarily as the DH, especially if Brantley isn’t ready to roll. 

It sounds like Yordan, Tucker, McCormick and Meyers are locks for the Opening Day roster. Of course, if Brantley is healthy, so is he. From there, Justin Dirden may be the clubhouse leader for the final roster spot.