Could The Astros Field An All-Rookie Team?

By Connor Nielen

As everybody who remotely follows baseball knows, the last-place Astros have gone “all-in” with their organizational rebuild. To call it a “youth movement” would be a serious understatement.

In Monday night’s 9-1 romp over the Diamondbacks, four different Houston rookies had multi-hit games (Jose Altuve, J.D. Martinez, Jimmy Paredes, and Carlos Corporan). How often do you hear that? correspondent Brian McTaggart pointed out before Tuesday’s game that 20 members of the current roster combine for a whopping total of 1475 career games. For comparison, Carlos Lee has played in 1907 games himself.

There are plenty of growing pains that fans will inevitably continue to suffer through, but things are finally looking up for ‘the other team’ in The Lonestar State, slowly but surely.

Credit Chip Bailey of the Houston Chronicle for this idea: 

When Major League Baseball expands to its 40-man rosters in September, would the Astros consider fielding a starting line-up of strictly rookies for a regular season game?

Believe it or not it has actually happened before in MLB history, once, by coincidentally… Houston!

Of course you have to go all the way back to 1963, when they were known as the Houston Colt .45s.

It may sound silly, but it is actually a quite realistic possibility. The Astros already routinely use a line-up which features several rookies. They would need to promote just two players to be in position to accomplish the statistical anomaly- a first baseman and a shortstop (definitely do-able).

Bailey takes it a step further in his column, suggesting that the ball-club could actually use a rookie-only squad on the field for an entire game (including pitching) with something like this:

  • Catcher: Carlos Corporan.
  • First base: Kody Hinze
  • Second base: Jose Altuve.
  • Shortstop: Wladimir Sutil/Jonathan Villar
  • Third base: Jimmy Paredes
  • Left field: J.D. Martinez
  • Center field: J.B. Shuck
  • Right field: Brian Bogusevic
  • SP: Jordan Lyles
  • RP: Aneury Rodriguez.
  • RP: David Carpenter.
  • RP: Fernando Rodriguez.
  • RP: Enerio Del Rosario
  • RP: Sergio Escalona

Unfortunately, it is unlikely that anything of the sort will actually take place. It would require Brad Mills to sit Carlos Lee, Clint Barmes and Jason Bourgeois all in the same game, as well as that Lyles will hopefully be shut-down by September anyways.

Regardless, it is fun to envision something like this! And it’s not ‘impossible’…

One guy who fans can count on definitely be in September line-ups at Minute Maid Park is J.D. Martinez. The rookie left-fielder crushed another home run on Tuesday (his 4th bomb in 18 at-bats), further bolstering his case for permanent inclusion as a middle-of-the-order man for the Stros. Start noticing this guy America! Quickly!

Finally, here’s a gem I found on Twitter:

[blackbirdpie url=”!/zacharylevine/status/100963927269183488″]

So awesome!

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