Houston Astros: Should Jose Altuve be the designated hitter?

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 13: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros reacts to a throwing error during the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Three of the American League Championship Series at PETCO Park on October 13, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 13: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros reacts to a throwing error during the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Three of the American League Championship Series at PETCO Park on October 13, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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After watching Jose Altuve struggle with his defense in the ALCS, it may be time for the Houston Astros to consider making him their DH.

I never imagined writing an article about Jose Altuve struggling with defense.

The Houston Astros second baseman won a gold glove in 2015 and he really has not had issues with his glove generally speaking.

Yet, the postseason has given Altuve some problems.

During this postseason, Altuve has made four errors in nine games.

His first error in the postseason was in game two against the Twins. The error did not have much of an impact, because the Astros won 3-1 and moved on to the ALDS.

More Astros. The baseball gods strike back. light

Altuve’s defense was fine against the Athletics in the ALDS, but in game two of the ALCS against the Tampa Bay Rays, he made one particularly crucial error.

He fielded a routine ground ball cleanly in short right field, and threw the ball relatively softly but short of Yuli Gurriel at first base. Gurriel was unable to pick the ball which allowed Ji-Man Choi to reach first base on the error, and Randy Arozarena to reach second base.

The next batter, Manuel Margot, hit a three run home run which ultimately won the game for the Rays. Altuve would make another error later in the game for his third error of the postseason.

Now with the Rays’ 2-0 lead, the pressure is on the Astros to win a game and not fall to a three game deficit.

In game three, Altuve had a chance to turn a double play, instead, he threw a ball in the dirt to Carlos Correa who could not pick it.

After the error,  Yandy Diaz hit a single off Enoli Paredes to load the bases. After that, Joey Wendle hit another single into left field to drive in two runs.

The Astros were up 1-0 during the sixth inning, until the Wendle two run single. The inning would continue to extend after another pitching change after a few hit by pitches and a lucky bloop hit by Hunter Renfroe.

What Should Dusty Bake Do?

Dusty Baker is a well-respected manager and I am sure he is just as concerned as many Houston Astros fans.

Although Altuve has struggled on defense, his bat has been electric.

Over the entire 2020 postseason, Altuve is hitting above .300 and is driving a lot of runs for the team.

He hit his fifth home run in the postseason yesterday.

So, the question remains is it worth taking Altuve off the field and making him a designated hitter?

Well, the Astros outfield already has four key starters. George Springer, Kyle Tucker, Michael Brantley, and Josh Reddick. Brantley will DH sometimes when Reddick is out of the lineup against left handed pitchers, but there is not a lot of wiggle room.

Aledmys Diaz could play second base for Altuve, but one of the four outfielders would have to sit.

Dusty Baker could go with Springer in center, Brantley in left, and Tucker in right with Altuve as a designated hitter. But you sacrifice Reddick’s defense for a subpar outfielder in Brantley.

At the same time, the Houston Astros are down in the series. Baker needs to put the best offensive lineup in, so he might take the gamble on Altuve’s surprising defensives woes.

Next. Aaron Sanchez attempting comeback. dark

I highly doubt Altuve will be taken off the field to maximize the offense, but I would also not be entirely surprised if changes were made.