As the Houston Astros prepare for the 2021 season, one of the most intriguing sights on the back fields of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is the veteran outfielder Michael Brantley taking ground balls at first base. Could he be a viable option to play some first base in a pinch? In this blog post, we’ll explore this possibility and the reasons why the Astros are interested in seeing if Brantley can make the switch.
The Astros have already signed free-agent first baseman José Abreu to play first base this year, but there could be a scenario where Brantley gets some time at first against a tough right-hander when Abreu is out of the lineup. Brantley did play some first base in the Minor Leagues in 2007, and he has been working out at first base with first-base coach Omar López, working on his footwork and throwing to bases. Although Astros manager Dusty Baker downplayed Brantley as a possibility at first, he said it would give him another option at the position.
Brantley has been putting in the hard work to learn the position, and it’s been going smoothly so far. He is also throwing without restrictions and hopes to take live batting practice soon. He has been hitting in the tunnels and is feeling good about his swing. He is now making adjustments to his timing and contact points and everything is trending in the right direction.
It will be interesting to see if Michael Brantley is able to make the switch to first base in the upcoming season. He has the experience and the drive to make it happen and it could be a great addition to the Astros roster. We’ll just have to wait and see!