Astros outfield excites with stellar gloves all around

Three center fielders patrolling Houston outfield, covering tons of ground

Astros outfield excites with stellar gloves all around

HOUSTON -- As incredible as George Springer's catch at the right-field wall to rob Rangers outfielder Leonys Martin of a walk-off grand slam in Sunday's 6-4 win in Arlington, it shouldn't come as a surprise considering the athleticism of Springer and center fielder Jake Marisnick.

In fact, the Astros start three center fielders on most nights in Colby Rasmus (left field), Marisnick (center) and Springer, who played center field coming through the Minor Leagues before being moved to right because the Astros had Dexter Fowler in center field last year.

"They've made great defensive plays and feed off of each other," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "It's three center fielders in the lineup and it's fun to watch. We have a real dynamic outfield."

Rasmus' running grab

Rasmus, signed to a one-year, $8 million deal, was asked to move to left field after starting 678 of his 689 career starts in center. He had started only four games in left field prior to this year. Marisnick is the best defender of the bunch, which is why the Astros felt comfortable moving to Springer to right to accommodate him.

"Defense is important," Hinch said. "It's something we talked about this spring. It's how we can keep guys off the bases. Most of those plays being made are taking away extra-base hits. George's catch, if it's not made, would have ended the game. The ones Colby is catching in left and Jake is catching in center, those are doubles and triples that are coming off the board, so that helps everybody."

Astros veteran shortstop Jed Lowrie has been impressed with what's going on behind him.

"I expect to see more excitement from our outfield all around with Colby and Marisnick and Robbie and all these guys making great plays out there," he said.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.