Houston Astros Jeremy Pena Likely To Drop In Lineup

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker has made it clear that Michael Brantley will remain in the second spot of the team's lineup for the 2023 season, despite calls for Jeremy Pena to take over the position.

While Pena hit second for most of the 2022 season, Baker has stated that a healthy Brantley will be given priority when in the lineup. The 35-year-old Brantley is currently away from the team dealing with a family matter, but is expected to be ready for Opening Day following his shoulder surgery in August.

This news could result in Pena dropping down in the Astros' everyday lineup, which may lead to fewer run-scoring opportunities for the second-year player. However, it could also present him with more chances to drive in runs for the defending World Series champions.

"If Brantley is in the lineup, Brantley is No. 2...I know Pena's been good, but Pena ain't been good as long as Brantley," manager Dusty Baker said.

Pena had a strong rookie season in 2022, slashing .253/.289/.426 with 22 home runs, 63 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and 72 runs scored over 136 games. He finished fifth in Rookie-of-the-Year voting and also won a Gold Glove. Photo Credit:  Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports