CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS

Examining Astros outfield hierarchy and where Chas McCormick fits in

Examining Astros outfield hierarchy and where Chas McCormick fits in
Chas McCormick is off to a hot start. Composite image by Jack Brame.
How the Astros most challenging offseason obstacle is a matter of philosophy

Houston Astros outfielder Chas McCormick’s spot in center field has not been guaranteed to begin the 2023 regular season.

While McCormick will forever live in the memories of fans for his heroic catch in Game Five of the 2022 World Series, this year has seen his time split with fellow outfielder Jake Meyers for the starting spot in center field.

Through seven games, McCormick has started in four and Meyers has started in three outings for the Astros. McCormick’s slashes are .286/.444/.571 and Meyers’ are .200/.273/.200 through those games.

While wins and losses are not directly correlated, the Astros are 2-2 with McCormick as the starter and 1-2 with Meyers.

Houston’s win against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday to avoid a series sweep saw McCormick hit a home run and also get a double in the bottom of the fourth inning that moved David Hensley to third. Hensley came around to score in the next at-bat.

While it is only a small sample size for both players, McCormick has showcased he is ahead of Meyers in terms of consistent production in center field. When it comes to who should get the bulk of play at any position, production should be the top priority.

Since the Astros lost George Springer to the Blue Jays in 2021, Houston has been seeking a stabilizing presence in center. McCormick and Meyers have been on the roster since 2021 jockeying for that position.

Only Dusty Baker knows his reasoning behind splitting the two outfielders relatively evenly this season. Perhaps it is a form of load management, perhaps he believes Meyers needs the at-bats and reps to potentially have a breakthrough.

Whatever the case, when it comes to the two outfielders for the Astros, McCormick is trending in the upward direction while Meyers is trending downward. If it continues, the Pennsylvania native could make it to where he leaves no choice but for him to become a consistent starter.

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Who's really calling the shots? Composite Getty Image.

Who is actually determining how much Jose Abreu is playing right now? Is it Joe Espada or is someone telling him from the top of the organization to play Abreu and not take him out of clutch moments?

Also, could Espada be sending a message to the front office by giving them a good look at how bad he is, and how much he's hurting the team with regular playing time?

ESPN Houston's Jeremy Branham makes that case in the video above, but his radio partner Joel Blank isn't quite buying it.

Don't miss the video above for the full conversation!

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