Houston Astros News: Three things Michael Brantley adds to the team

Michael Brantley of the Houston Astros (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Michael Brantley of the Houston Astros (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros OF Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley of the Houston Astros (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

A third designated outfielder and first base depth

The signing of Brantley also gives the Houston Astros something they haven’t had in quite a while, a legitimate, bonafide third starting outfielder. Sure, Marwin primarily served in that role the past couple of seasons but as soon as someone else needed a break, he was slotted in their spot and a fourth outfielder was trotted into the lineup.

Now, don’t get me wrong, that versatility was absolutely incredible and something extremely valuable that gave the Astros a consistently strong lineup. However, having a guy that has played outfield, specifically left field, for his entire career surely gives the team a more dominant outfield.

Marwin was more than serviceable in the outfield but as an infielder, he was miscast in a spot that was not his strength and natural place. Having Brantley primarily manning lefty field should give the team a boost defensively as he has a very solid glove and tracking ability and an arm that will look incredible playing half of its games in front of the Crawford Boxes.

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However, entering a season that will see him turn 32 and playing a position that has seen him suffer a terrible injury, Brantley was looking for a spot where he could add to his versatility and increase his positional flexibility. I’m sure this is something the Astros valued in Brantley as he should be able to play some first base as the team is hoping Yuli Gurriel could fill a utility role.

If Brantley can play a solid left field and fill a reserve first base role, the Astros will be able to field more diverse lineups that can get the best seven (excluding catcher and pitcher) players on the field and keep the most dangerous combination of bats in the lineup.