A.J. Hinch asked again about not using Gerrit Cole

ASTROS PRESS CONFERENCE

Astros manager A.J. Hinch talks about the factors he considered and why he didn't use Gerrit Cole in Game 7 of the World Series.

Also, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow talks about his confidence in Hinch, and talks about free agency.

The video is courtesy of ABC13 YouTube.

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How Astros retribution campaign hinges on solving outfield balancing act

While most of the Astros roster is returning for the 2024 season, there are still some areas of uncertainty for the club. Astros manager Joe Espada will have some tough decisions to make in his first season managing the team.

The Astros infield is set, so we know who will be playing on a nightly basis, assuming health. The outfield is where things get tricky. Espada told the Houston Chronicle last week that he hopes to play Alvarez more in left field this season, which would open up the DH spot for Chas McCormick and players he would like to rest while keeping their bat in the lineup (Yainer Diaz, Jose Altuve, etc).

Astros GM Dana Brown would like to see if Jake Meyers can hit well enough to play regularly in center field. This is a team that stresses defense, which Meyers provides. But if defense is the top priority, wouldn't that mean Chas McCormick should play left field with Yordan Alvarez hitting in the DH spot?

Certainly, there will be nights when that's the case. The reality of the situation is all these guys are going to play, but how much and where is yet to be seen.

Houston plays 20 games in 21 days to start the season, so it's not going to take long to see if Meyers is providing enough offense to play regularly. If we get into the month of May and Meyers is an offensive liability in the lineup, we won't be surprised if his playing time starts to decrease. But by how much?

Don't miss the video as we examine how Joe Espada will deploy his outfielders and get the most out of the DH this season!

Watch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every week on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel.

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