Let’s take a closer look at George Springer’s production.
16 games is a relatively small sample size, but it is also about 10% of the season.
In the 16 games, he has a slashline of .221/.274/.544 (including today’s 2-1 win over the Angels).
He has 15 hits, 4 walks, and 1 hit-by-pitch. Add those up (it’s 20) and divide by his plate appearances (73) and you get his OBP of .274
But, 7 of those hits were home runs – where he wasn’t really on base. Subtract those, and he’s only REALLY been on base 13 times.
Now, also subtract his two caught-steals. That drops it down to 11 times in 16 games that he has been a runner on base for his teammates. That’s terrible for a leadoff hitter and table-setter for the rest of the lineup.
It is also one of the causes of the lack of RBI’s from the middle of the order.
Springer’s boom-or-bust style (and lack of base stealing threat) seems better suited for the middle of the lineup, not the top.
AJ Hinch has been pretty headstrong in leaving George Springer at the leadoff spot, but he may want to consider a different approach.
Putting the higher on-base Astros in front of Springer should lead to more runs, since theoretically there would be more runners on when he hits home runs.
Hinch may want to try something like
As long as the Astros keep winning, I don’t expect the order to change much.
But, the pitching staff’s 3.12 ERA has been the main cause of the 11-5 record. It would be nice to see the bats take advantage of their talent.
They have the 7th best OPS in the MLB, but are only 18th in runs scored per game.