Blum could see more playing time at second base

One of the benefits the Astros received from signing veteran Pedro Feliz to play third base this year is that it frees up Geoff Blum to do other things. Sure, he’ll see some playing time at third, but he’s also capable of playing shortstop, second base and first base.

Blum only appeared in one game at shortstop last year and will be down the depth chart at that position, behind Tommy Manzella and Jeff Keppinger. He won’t get much playing time at first base, either, unless Lance Berkman gets injured.

That leaves second base, where starter Kaz Matsui is going to have to produce in the final year of his contract. Matsui has been a disappointment offensively with the Astros, even though he played in a career-high 132 games last year. He hit .250 with an on-base percentage of only .302.

Blum, a switch-hitter, is more than capable of playing long stretches at second base if Matsui struggles or gets injured, and general manager Ed Wade said last week he and manager Brad Mills won’t hesitate to use Blum at second.

“Millsie and I have talked, and my opinion to him is we need to put the best lineup on the field we can put out there,” Wade said. “Our hope is Kaz is playing the majority of the time, but we’ve got alternatives. If there’s a point in time it looks like giving either Geoff Blum or Keppinger more at-bats over there [will help the offense] or if Edwin Maysonet makes the club and is playing well, we have to be opened-minded about putting our most productive lineup on the field.”



I just don’t buy it. Blum has a good first step, but at age 36, his range is all but gone. Putting him in the middle infield would be pretty bad defensively, probably even worse than Keppinger. I see Blum as a third baseman, first baseman… maybe LF in a pinch.I really wish the Astros would pick up Felipe Lopez. He would be a better backup shortstop than any of our options and could take Matsui’s starts if Manzella works out. I bet he will only cost around $3-4 million at this rate.

Blum at 2nd base; why not but on very rare occasion only. I’d rather see Maysonet and keppinger take over for Matsui. I’m hoping Maysonet makes a case for himself this ST.

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