Astros: Enough Is Enough, Call In The Reinforcements


0/4 and three strikeouts. Those are stats we have been accustomed to seeing from guys anywhere from the 4th spot to the 9th spot in the Astros order.

The main culprits are usually Chris Carter and Luis Valbuena, both of whom are currently taking the majority of at-bats at first base.

Let’s talk about these two fellows for a second. Carter on the year is hitting an abysmal .181 while striking out a third of the time. Valbuena hasn’t been much better, hitting .210, while his BABIP has “normalized” to .216. At this point, both aren’t unlucky and both aren’t going to get much better.

The only thing the two of them have going for them is that they can hit for power and play solid defense (Valbuena does play a good third base as well). The two of them have combined for 39 home runs on the year and can change any game with one swing of the bat. However, the problem is that they both get on base less than 30 percent of the time and both have been mostly black holes in the Astros’ lineup all year long.

Some believe the Astros should just stick it out and hope they can recover. However, count me out of that group. The Astros have replacements in the Minor Leagues that should be able to hit above .250 in the everyday lineup.

Matt Duffy, 26, was a 20th rounder in the 2011 MLB Draft. He’s been at AAA Fresno all season long and has produced at every level in the Astros system. This season in 115 games, Duffy is slashing .309/.385/.494 with 17 home runs and 99 RBI. He plays both first base and third base and could give the Astros a solid bat down in the lineup.

Another option is the red-hot Tyler White. The 24-year old White has also been mashing at every level he’s been at in his entire career. Since being called up to AAA Fresno, the 2013 33rd rounder has hit .380 with a 1.062 OPS over 199 plate appearances.

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And then there’s the Astros top first base prospect A.J. Reed. The California League Player of the Year has combined for 30 home runs and 112 RBIs at A+ Lancaster and AA Corpus Christi. Reed hit .346 with a 1.088 OPS at Lancaster and followed that up hitting .331 and a .954 OPS in 39 games at Corpus Christi.

Reed is the best prospect of the three options, officially joining’s top 100 prospect list the other day. He’s also arguably the most likely to produce in September and is currently considered the Astros first basemen of the future.

Personally, I don’t care which of the three the Astros call up. I think any of the three would be upgrades over Carter or Valbuena and they’ve all earned a call-up to the MLB club.

Enough is enough, Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch. The time is two months ago now to make a move.

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