Home US SportsMLB Dusty Baker tinkering with José Altuve’s spot in Houston Astros’ lineup

Dusty Baker tinkering with José Altuve’s spot in Houston Astros’ lineup

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JUPITER, Fla. — Dusty Baker is tinkering together with his lineup and desires to keep away from hitting José Altuve leadoff.

Houston’s supervisor primarily batted the three-time American League batting champion first final yr, however Baker says the 5-foot-6 Altuve is not all that keen on the leadoff spot.

“Actually, Altuve led off because everybody asked him to lead off, not because that’s where he feels comfortable,” Baker stated. “You assume he’s leading off because he’s shorter in stature. That’s not right. I want guys to feel comfortable where they hit.”

Baker thinks Altuve’s free-swinging method is best suited to the second spot within the order.

“This guy goes up there to hit,” Baker stated. “There’s a lot of times, if he makes an out on the first pitch, then that second hitter’s got to take the next pitch, or else the pitcher has two pitches and two outs in the first inning.”

The 31-year-old second baseman hit leadoff in all 144 video games he began final season, main the Astros to their third World Sequence look in 5 years. In his profession, the seven-time All-Star has began 530 video games hitting second — six extra instances than he is hit leadoff.

Altuve primarily batted second through the Astros’ 2019 run to the World Sequence. He hit third 104 instances in 2017, the yr Houston received its title and Altuve was named American League MVP. Baker has slotted Altuve second in all three of his Grapefruit League appearances this spring.

“If I lead off, I lead off,” Altuve stated. “If I hit second, I hit second. I don’t care. I just really enjoy playing in this lineup.”

Altuve’s profession .308 batting common consists of 164 residence runs. He is additionally stolen 261 bases, although solely 13 of these have come over the previous three seasons.

Shortstop Jeremy Peña, Carlos Correa‘s doubtless alternative, hit leadoff on Sunday for the second time since Baker began taking part in main leaguers in Grapefruit League video games this spring. He led off the sport by ripping Miami pitcher Jesus Luzardo‘s first providing into left subject for a single.

Primarily a No. 2 hitter within the minors, Peña was thrown out making an attempt to steal second earlier than Altuve delivered his second hit of the spring.

Altuve adopted Peña’s third-inning single with a sacrifice fly, driving within the sport’s first run.

“He looks good,” Altuve stated of Peña. “He’s a great hitter, great offensive player, great overall player.”

Baker has additionally slotted outfielder Chas McCormick at leadoff this spring.

“I’m trying things,” Baker stated. “That’s what spring training’s all about. I’m trying as many things as I can in this short period of time.”

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