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The Real Issue With Jeff Keppinger's Return

If you still care about the Astros season at this point, you've got a little too much of a masochistic streak. You might also be wondering what the Astros are going to do with all these players once they come off the disabled list. Guys like Jeff Keppinger, Angel Sanchez, Matt Downs, Jason Bourgeois, Brian Bogusevic and Jason Michaels all complicate these decisions by being in varying levels of health and competence.

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But, the real issue the Astros should be concerned with is not who will be bumped off the roster or who will start where. It's much simpler. The Astros are trying to make decisions with a bunch of replacement level players. None of these players are going to change the course of this team. None of them are going to turn into breakout stars. We're shuffling deck chairs on some famous ship which sank tragically.

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Of all these players, the only guy who might have a chance at being an asset is Bourgeois, who can provide solid defense and great base running behind Michael Bourn. Of course, with his oblique injury, it could be a very long time before Bourg is healthy again.

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Keppinger might be a better option at second base than Bill Hall or Angel Sanchez, but will he really make a difference? Even if Kepp puts up numbers like he did last season, he's not providing more power and he's not providing a higher on-base percentage. He's just going to strike out much less.

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Like it or not, these Astros just don't have a player who can make a difference in this crowded group of guys. Well, if one of them catches fire, they might move from 70 wins to 72 wins, for all that's worth.

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.