The Houston Astros will be making a bit of a roster change after Jason Michaels separated his shoulder Sunday on a diving play in the third inning. To replace him on the 25-man roster, the Astros called up left-handed hitting outfielder Brian Bogusevic from Oklahoma City.
Bogusevic was one of the last players cut from spring training, but was cut before fellow outfielder J.B. Shuck. Bogey has done well in his short time at Bricktown Ballpark. His batting average is low (.241), but his on-base percentage is very high (14 percent walk rate) and he's hit for a little power (four XBH in 17 games). He's also performing much, much better against right-handed pitchers than lefties. In 17 at-bats, he's hitting just .059/.227/.059 against left-handers and .317/.462/.488 against rightys in 48 at-bats.
Michaels hadn't started in over a week before he got into that Brewers game Sunday and is hitting just .111/.200/.111 this season in 20 plate appearances. Michaels should get better, both physically and at the plate, but this may spell the end of Joe Inglett on the team.
What we'll have to watch very closely over the next couple of weeks is how Brad Mills uses Bogusevic. If he's used as a second left-handed hitter off the bench, then he might bump the ineffective Inglett somewhere else. If he's more of a fifth outfielder and defensive replacement, Inglett is probably safe. But, Bogey's platoon splits this season suggest he might be able to stick in that lefty bat role. I just wish I could find platoon stats for the minors from another source to get a little more context.
This injury will also likely impact how Mills approaches tough lefty starters. Right now, he's been sitting Brett Wallace against some, not all, left-handers and giving Carlos a start at first base. That allows him to start Michaels in left to give him some playing time. If Bogusevic is the guy off the bench, it figures that he won't just be plugged into that role. Most likely, Jason Bourgeois will pick up those starts in left. If the Astros are facing a tough lefty and Mills needs to give Michael Bourn a day off, I wonder if he'll get creative with the lineup, moving Chris Johnson to first or starting Matt Downs there.