Joel Sherman of the New York Post is reporting that the Astros are “pushing for” ex-A’s “Outfielder” Jack Cust.
Cust, 32 in January, has hit a ton whenever he’s played. 25+ homers in three of the last four seasons. He’s a true three-outcomes warrior, who works the count and is known for producing a prodigious amount of strikeouts. Before having his playing time reduced last season, he had led the American League in strikeouts three years in a row.
The puzzling thing about this rumor is that Cust has always been more hitter than player. His fielding has been historically bad in both corner outfield positions. To have him be the more oft-used half of a left field platoon in Minute Maid Park would just be moving Carlos Lee out of left field to replace him with a left-handed…well, Carlos Lee. One that can walk, but still one that doesn’t belong in the field.
So while I guess the Astros can’t be blamed for not emphasizing outfield defense in the short porch out in left, it wouldn’t make much sense to make a big stink over Lee’s defense, and then replace him with Cust.