Bo Porter isn’t messing around with Astros’ hitters

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Astros cleanup hitter J.D. Martinez was pulled early from last night’s game. When asked why Martinez was pulled, manager Bo Porter said this:

Porter was asked following the Astros’ 3-0 loss to the Mariners if Martinez, who was hitting cleanup for the first time this year, had been injured, and he told reporters to ask Martinez what happened.

“That was a manager’s decision,” Porter said. “You go ask him why he didn’t finish the game. I’m actually interested in what he’s going to tell you.”

Go read Martinez’s answer. It sounds like a combination of scolded child and pre-Seppuku samurai. The upshot: he didn’t follow the hitting approach discussed pregame and popped out on a first pitch swing. But there was definitely a “yes sir, may I have another?” element to it all.

Which, hey, whatever works. It’s good to see that Porter has his young hitters thinking about approaches to at bats and stuff. That said, it’s weird to see these kinds of teaching moments in the major leagues. That’s where the Astros are, though.

Brewers to give Mike Moustakas a look at second base

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The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.

The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.

This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.

Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.