Blog Entry

Astros will experiment with Wallace at third

Posted on: February 8, 2012 12:47 pm
Brett Wallace

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Moving to third base is the new black.

Kevin Youkilis did it last year, the Tigers say they'll do it with Miguel Cabrera, the Marlins hope Hanley Ramirez will do it -- and now the Astros want Brett Wallace to move across the infield as well, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.

Wallace, drafted as a third baseman by the Cardinals in 2008, hasn't played anywhere but first base since coming up with the Astros in 2010. But the Astros have Carlos Lee's $18.5 million contract at first base for one more year before they could actually use him as a designated hitter in their move to the American League. By that time, though, the Wallace experiment at third base will likely have failed and Wallace can play first (or DH) and Lee will be somewhere else making much less money.

Wallace, 25, has hardly lived up to expectations since the Astros traded fellow prospect Anthony Gose to Toronto for the left-handed hitter. Wallace was traded twice in a year and five days, first by the Cardinals to Oakland for Matt Holliday and then to Toronto for Michael Taylor. Since being called up in 2010, Wallace has managed to hit just .248/.323/.354 with seven home runs in 537 plate appearances. Last season he hit .259/.334/.369 with five homers in 115 games.

Wallace hasn't played third base since 2009, when he played 52 games at the position for the Cardinals' Triple-A team in Memphis. Toronto and Houston never used him at third.

Levine writes that Astros general manager Jeff Lunhow, who drafted Wallace for the Cardinals in 2008, said Wallace has been taking ground balls at third base this offseason and will continue to play there in the spring.

The Astros hardly have Mike Schmidt or George Brett in waiting at the hot corner, as the other candidates for third base are Jimmy Paredes and Chris Johnson.

Johnson, 27, started 98 games at third base for the Astros last season, hitting .251/.291/.378 with seven home runs in 107 games and 405 plate appearances. Paredes, 23, played 46 games for Houston last season, hitting .286/.320/.393 with two homers in 179 plate appearances. Paredes hit.270/.300/.426 with 10 home runs in 93 games at Double-A Corpus Christi before being called up to Houston.

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Since: Nov 7, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:50 am

Astros will experiment with Wallace at third

the most important year of his carrier!!..if he can show he's at least an average 3rd baseman(the bat stats will surge...anyway..)..his future can be in MLB considering the lack of 3rd baseman whom can field and worst case Wallace could become valuable as a corner(1st and 3rd..)bench player..ala-Chris Davis for example
his possibility to be an everyday 1st i guess they're gone but this cleary a transition season for the Astros..everything can happen there( if Rodriguez, Myers,Lyon get out the gate well..very interesting trade bait to work around in a rebuilding process..)
also we have to consider Singleton is the choice of the future for 1st...
dear's your time on 3rd!..

Since: Jul 29, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2012 6:33 pm

Astros will experiment with Wallace at third

Houston will be horrible anyway!  They should bring up Roger Clemens son and let him play third.  At least some fans will show up to the games!

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2012 2:16 pm

Astros will experiment with Wallace at third

At least Miguel Cabrera has competition for largest & worst fielding 3B.  No one cares b/c the AL Astros stink so bad the Mariners should finish ahead of em.  What a lousy franchise Drayton McClain & Enron field...bring Biggio & Bagwell back to play.

Since: Dec 18, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2012 2:09 pm

Astros will experiment with Wallace at third

I thought the experiment was last year and it didn't work? Wallace can't hit the blind side of a barn. No way he ends up as DH either next year. I'd rather see Johnson get the time or even Paredes. Wallace is a waste

Since: Jul 30, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2012 2:07 pm

Astros will experiment with Wallace at third

It's not like it's been all that long since this kid has played 3B.  He's played 164 games at the hot corner during his professional career and only 116 games at firstbase.  A switch back to third should not be a big deal.

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