How Dusty Baker’s puzzling decisions could be forcing Astros hand


For many Astros fans, it's been a frustrating season watching Dusty Baker limit opportunities for some of his best players. Of course, we're talking about Chas McCormick and Yainer Diaz.

Things really escalated over the weekend when the Astros were swept by the Yankees, with Chas McCormick only starting one of the three games. And in the one game he started, Dusty Baker pinch-hit for him with Jon Singleton in the ninth inning of a one run game. Spoiler alert: Singleton struck out looking.

The following game, Dusty started Yainer and Chas against the Rangers and lo and behold, Houston won in a blowout. But don't think for a second that Maldonado won't be back in the lineup on Tuesday, with Framber taking the hill. (Notice below that Yainer is not in Tuesday's lineup).

And it seems the only days Michael Brantley is in the lineup, McCormick has to sit. Dusty doesn't seem to trust Chas in center field anymore. Chas has only started in center field in one out of the last five games.

To be fair, we've seen Dusty change the way he manages when the playoffs start, but this season is different. If the Astros wait for Dusty to start playing McCormick and Diaz regularly in the playoffs, they may not get in. The division is way too close this season to be messing around with playing time.

With that in mind, could we see owner Jim Crane or GM Dana Brown get involved in Baker's perplexing lineup decisions?

Be sure to watch the video above as the guys break it all down.

Listen to The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein weekday mornings on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM.

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