Dexter Fowler, the third-best hitter the Astros have had this season, returns to the lineup Wednesday. He is hitting cleanup.
Which other wiser and more worthy gentlemen are hitting higher than him? Chris Carter, Jose Altuve and Robbie Grossman. Two of those don't belong.
Pondering this led me to dust off the old Hitter of the Week story. Let's see just how good these chaps have been and who deserves a spot above Dexy and the Midnight Runners.
In his last 11 games, Marisnick is hitting .333/.341/.452. He picked up his second career MLB home run and now has half as many hits in 44 plate appearances as he picked up in his previous 169 MLB plate appearances.
He will not continue to hit .480/.481/.680 as he has in the last week. But, he's also not that career .170 hitter people expected him to be when the trade happened. Oh, and he's easily been the best defender Houston's had in the last two weeks.
That's the bat he's flashed at times in the minors. If he can slash .277/.326/.434 the rest of the way like he did in Triple-A this year, Marisnick makes this outfield much, much better than it was before the trade.
Why on earth would Bob bump Fowler out of one of the top two spots in the lineup? Well, he's got a .400 on-base percentage in the last week. That's one reason. He's also got a .500 slugging percentage over that same stretch, up quite a bit from his powerless season to that point.
In the last two weeks, Grossman's been even better, getting on base at a .426 clip with a .450 slugging percentage. His wRC+ of 153 is second-best on the team among players with at least three PAs. We've seen him do this before, however. He hit like this in the second half last season. He needs to do more before we jump on the Bob Grossman bandwagon quite so readliy.
Ho-hum. Altuve is still projected for 216 hits, 43 doubles and 57 steals. Only six players in MLB history have topped 200 hits, 40 doubles and 50 steals in the same season. One was Ty Cobb. Another was George Sisler. Craig Biggio did it. So did Hanley Ramirez.
Oh, and if you want one more amazing Altuve fact to show how special a season he's having? He didn't have a walk or a strikeout last week. He hasn't struck out in 25 plate appearances and has only struck out 42 times all season.
He is very good, but not quite as good as this next guy has been.
You want to guess what Carter's isolated power average is for the last week? For those of you not familiar with the stat, ISO subtracts slugging percentage from batting average and is supposed to give a good barometer of a player's power.
A normal ISO hovers around .200. Great ones top .300. Over his last seven games, Chris Carter's ISO is .700.
He hit two more home runs than the entire Astros team managed over that same time frame. He's already tied the franchise record for most multi-homer games in a season.
He's so hot, he's on fire. Almost like he's...
He's burninating the village. He's burninating the town.