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Astros Spring Training Checkup: Infield

Houston’s infield competition has few surprises so far.

World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game Six Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

A week and a half into 2023 Spring Training, Houston’s infield picture remains unchanged.

It’s really a case of no news is good news for the Astros and their infield picture. The only questions we collectively had going into Spring Training was maybe the backup catcher, who will start in center field, and maybe who’s the eighth guy in the bullpen. The only real infield competition is for the utility role, and we knew before spring training it was likely to be David Hensley and Mauricio Dubón.

First Base

J.J. Matijevic: six games, four-for-10, one double, one homer, two runs, six RBI, one walk, two strikeouts.

Jordan Brewer: three games, one-for-four, one homer, one run, one RBI, two strikeouts.

David Hensley: six games, three-for-11, two homers, three runs, three RBI, three walks, four strikeouts, two stolen bases

José Abreu: five games, two-for-12, one double, one homer, two runs, two RBI, two walks, two strikeouts

Luke Berryhill: two games, 0-for-3, one walk

Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics
J.J. Matijevic
Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

Matijevic is making a strong push to try and make the opening day roster, especially with his five RBI game on March 3 in an 11-8 win over the Braves. Hensley is having an equally strong spring, with a .429 OBP in a small sample size.

Second Base

Rylan Bannon: six games, three-for-12, one homer, one run, one RBI, two walks, one strikeout, two stolen bases

Grae Kessinger: seven games, three-for-11, one double, one homer, two runs, two RBI, three walks, one strikeout

Jose Altuve: five games, two-for-14, three runs, one RBI, two walks, six strikeouts

Shay Whitcomb: five games, two-for-11, one RBI, five strikeouts, one stolen base

J.C. Correa: two games, 0-for-3

Houston Astros v St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Despite Altuve’s slow start, it’s impossible to imagine an opening-day roster that he misses (barring injury). If he’s healthy, there’s a 100 percent chance he’s the starter on March 30 against the White Sox.

Third Base

Will Wagner: five games, four-for-10, two doubles, two runs, three RBI, two strikeouts

Tyler Whitaker: five games, two-for-nine, two runs, one RBI, four strikeouts

Alex Bregman: three games, three-for-eight, two doubles

Joe Perez: six games, 0-for-12, six strikeouts

Whitaker has struggled with his pitch recognition through his first professional seasons, but don’t forget that he’s only 20-years-old. He’s on a pretty good track to debut in the majors before he’s 23.


Mauricio Dubón: six games, three-for-12, one double, one walk, one strikeout, one stolen base

Leosdany Molina: five games, one-for-eight, one homer, one run, one RBI, six strikeouts

Dixon Machado: six games, two-for-nine, two walks, one strikeout

Jeremy Peña: five games, three-for-16, one triple, two runs, two RBI, three strikeouts

Cristian Gonzalez: five games, one-for-10, one walk, five strikeouts

Abreu, Altuve, Peña, Bregman. Those names are written in ink. Dubón and Hensley remain the odds-on favorite to serve in the backup roles, but are almost assured locks. Matijevic, Kessinger, and Wagner will continue to push their way into the conversation.