Bregman went 1-for-4 with a stolen base in Thursday's 9-2 win over the Mariners. Manager A.J. Hinch is trying to shake Bregman out of a slump that has him hitting .160 (4-for-25) since he posted a four-hit game April 11. After Hinch gave Bregman a day off Wednesday, the manager had him back in the lineup and dropped him to the five hole.
Bregman will return to the lineup Thursday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. Bregman was given the night off Wednesday as a way to reboot a dormant bat. Since the first four-hit game of his career April 11 against the Twins, the young third baseman had gone 3-for-21. A.J. Hinch also dropped him from second to fifth in the batting order Tuesday, so the manager is trying to get him on track. Bregman is hitting .214 through 18 games.
Bregman is not in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Mariners. Bregman will head to the bench for the first time all season after starting each of the first 18 games and going 15-for-70 (.214) with a homer and a stolen base. Marwin Gonzalez will slide to third base in his stead with Derek Fisher drawing a start in left field.
Bregman, who entered Wednesday's game on a 3-for-18 slide, went 4-for-6 with a home run, a double and two runs scored in a 9-8 loss to the Twins. Bregman has been making contact all year, but wasn't getting balls to drop -- until Wednesday. "I felt good really all year, barreling up the baseball," Bregman told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. "[In the] first series in Texas, I hit a lot of balls at people and kind of started to chase some hits after that instead of chasing some good pitches to hit, and today I was just looking for some good pitches to hit and was fortunate enough to put some good swings on the ball." It was the first four-hit game of his career, and the homer was his first of the season. He had a similarly cold start in 2017 and managed to turn things around.
Bregman went 1-for-3 with a walk and was picked off in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the Twins. Bregman led off the fifth with a single and was promptly picked off in yet another game where the Astros' offense was quiet and runs were dear. The 24-year-old third sacker is hitting just .186 over 12 games. He has similar batted-ball characteristics as last season, but has had little to show for it -- his .216 BABIP a testament to that. Struggling hitters tend to expand the strike zone, but his swing rate and swing rate outside the zone do not indicate he's chasing bad pitches. The quirks of BABIP should correct, but you'll need to be patient with Bregman.
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