Jun 20, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) and center fielder Dexter Fowler (21) congratulate each other after they beat the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Houston Astros defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros: Solving the Left Field Problem

The Houston Astros have had a revolving door position in left field this season, we’ve seen: Robbie Grossman (29 starts in LF), L.J. Hoes (15 starts in LF), Alex Presley (27 starts in LF), Jesus Guzman (4 starts in LF), Marwin Gonzalez (1 start in LF), Mark Krauss (1 start in LF), and even Tony Sipp has made an apperance in left field this season. Grossman has been the predominant starter in left field as of late but at the plate Grossman continues to struggle like he has all season at the major league level.

In Triple-A Oklahoma City, Grossman hit .299 with 3 home runs and 10 RBI’s which was probable cause to recall Grossman back to the big league club. Grossman this season for the Astros is hitting a team worst .158 average with 2 home runs and 11 RBI’s and just looks bad at the plate.

Also getting starts in left field has been Alex Presley who has gotten 167 at bats and is hitting .234 with 3 home runs and 8 RBI’s. Presley has also stolen 2 bases and has drawn 8 walks with 26 strikeouts.

L.J. Hoes started the year off at the big league level with the Astros, Hoes was the product of the Bud Norris trade last season with the Baltimore Orioles. In Hoes 67 at-bats with the Astros Hoes hit .209 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI’s on the year. In Triple-A Hoes is hitting .326 with 1 home runs and 12 RBI’s with an .408 On-Base Percentage in 89 at-bats for Oklahoma City.

Now for your consideration I present to you Domingo Santana. The Dominican born outfielder has been with Triple-A Oklahoma City all season. Santana is hitting .296 with 12 home runs (team-leading), 20 doubles, and 47 RBI’s (team-leading), while boasting a .378 on-base percentage in 294 at-bats.

The problem for the Astros in left field has not been a defensive one at all this season, it has strictly been an issue at the plate. Grossman has shown an inability to come in and get key hits this season leaving runners on base and striking out 34 times this season.

I think it is time for General Manager Jeff Luhnow to make a change and option Grossman to Oklahoma City and call up Domingo Santana. Santana has earned his call up to the major league and deserves the shot to be the everyday left fielder this season for the Astros.

Santana has power and can reach base at a high percentage as we have seen this season at Triple-A and throughout his minor league career. The Astros have two staples in the outfield in Dexter Fowler and George Springer, and its about time that the Astros find their everyday left fielder.

Tags: Houston Astros

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