Michael Bourn has a .274 OBP. At what point do the Astros shift gears?


Bourn = .274 OBP. At what point do the Astros shift gears?

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At what point as Astro’s manager Cecil Cooper do you have to sit Michael Bourn? I spent a couple of articles (primarily Bourn vs Pierre) playing up the virtues of Bourn’s game. In the article I basically called him a cheaper version of Juan Pierre. His D is solid out in CF and he’s currently 24 of 27 in stolen base attempts. But he only has a .274 OBP from the leadoff spot and a paltry 24 runs scored in
55 games. Take into account that Lance Berkman is having one of the best (and quietest) starts in the past few years (Berkman is slugging right around .750!). Bourn’s overall OPS is around .575!

Cooper stated during a spring training interview that he was committed to the run game but one has to question at what expense? I’m not going to get all sabermetrical here but this is the current structure of the Astro’s typical starting line-up.

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I think the Astros would be better off with the following set-up;

Matsui

Tejada

Berkman

Lee

Pence

Wigginton

Bourn

Ausmus/Towles

Of course this is simply pushing Bourn to the 7th (or even the 8th) slot and moving everyone up a slot.
Batting Berkman and his current superhuman level 1.2 OPS in the four hole could cost Berkman about 20 PA per season vs hitting him in the three hole, which of course doesn’t seem like much off the top but that works out to about 3% fewer PA per season. Conversly the leadoff man typically gets 100+ more PA then a #8 hitter. At Bourn’s .274 OBP the Astros are giving away a boatload of outs and logically runs.



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