Dominguez opened last season as the team's starting third baseman but found himself behind in the race for a bench role this spring.
"[Luis] Valbuena had an amazing spring so far and is basically going to be our third baseman and that leaves Matt in competition with some of the other guys for an extra spot on the roster, a spot off the bench, and right now we feel like there’s a couple of other guys ahead of him and he needs to play every day," general manager Jeff Lunhow said, per MLB.com "Right now he’ll go down to Fresno and play third and play some first and be ready when the need arises."
Correa is the team's top-rated prospect but has yet to play above high Class A.
"Carlos is going to be a star player in the big leagues. It’s just a matter of time," Luhnow said. "Having never had an at-bat in Double-A, he needs to go get some regular work in the high minors. He did a great job for us on the field as well as off the field and I think he’s got a lot of fans in the organization and he impressed the big league staff, which is what you want as a young player."
"A little bit of game live situations that it’s hard to simulate other than playing the game,” Hinch said. "Villar got a few balls. He looks the part out there. Athletes can move around the field pretty easily.
"The key with Dominguez a first is there's a little more responsibility than people think at first base, whether it’s trailing runners or being the cutoff man or playing in, playing back, holding runners, stuff like that. It's an adjustment for him, so he needs as many reps as we can get him over there. He's certainly not spooked by the position."
Dominguez has been the team's starting third baseman the last two seasons, but he has hit just .228 with a .271 on-base percentage, .366 slugging percentage and .637 OPS in that span.
"You get a bigger glove, so it can't be that hard," Dominguez said.
Dominguez has spent the last two seasons as the full-time third baseman for the Astors, but he will compete with Valbuena for the starting role this season. If Valbuena wins the third base job, the Astros want Dominguez to be able to switch to first base.
"[Astros manager A.J. Hinch] thinks I'm going to be a third baseman, but he wants to also help me try to make the team by adding a little more versatility and move around a little bit more," Dominguez said. "Do whatever I need to do."
“If a player isn’t helping us win games … we have other options,” Luhnow said, per the Houston Chronicle. “Valbuena will get a long hard look at third base.”
The 29-year-old Valbuena has spent the last three seasons with the Cubs. He hit .249 with a career-best 16 home runs, 33 doubles and 55 RBI in 149 games in 2014. He has a career .229 average over seven MLB seasons with the Mariners, Indians and Cubs.
The 25-year-old Dominguez hit .215 with 16 home runs and 57 RBI in 157 games in 2014. He is a career .233 hitter over four MLB seasons.
“Valbuena played every day at third … we’ve got to sort it out," manager A.J. Hinch said. "The steadiness that he brings at third base is certainly an attribute we’re going to look at.”
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs N.Y. Mets|
|vs N.Y. Mets||6||1||0||.286||.167||.167|
|vs Colon (Career)||12||2||0||.250||.167||.167|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 5 || 6 |
| 7 || 8 |
| 9 |
| 10 |
| 12 |
| 13 |
| 14 |
| 15 |
| 16 || 17 |
|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2011||AAA-New Orleans Zephyrs||87||325||47||84||18||1||12||55||24||50||0||1||.312||.431||.258|
|2012||AAA-New Orleans Zephyrs||78||286||27||67||14||0||7||46||23||31||0||1||.291||.357||.234|
|2012||AAA-Oklahoma City RedHaw||45||161||21||48||10||0||2||23||11||21||0||0||.347||.398||.298|
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