OAKLAND -- Astros manager AJ Hinch insisted Wednesday that he wasn’t at all concerned about Alex Bregman’s hitting, though the third baseman has complained loudly about his technique and results.
Bregman was at it again after the Astros’ 9-1 victory over the Oakland A’s on Tuesday. Bregman hit a fourth-inning grand slam, but went hitless in his other plate appearances and finished 1-for-5. This prompted him to insist that he owned the “softest” .300 batting average in the Major Leagues. Never mind his robust .869 OPS entering Wednesday night’s series finale against Oakland.
“I think he’s talking a little bit more about pitches that aren’t being put in play,” Hinch said. “He has fouled off a lot of pitches that he normally can hit. He holds himself to a pretty high standard, that he should crush every single strike. … Some of that stuff I think he said tongue-in-cheek; some of that stuff I think he really believes.”
Overall, Hinch still appreciates Bregman’s approach.
“I like the edge that he plays with,” Hinch said. “I think the chip on his shoulder that he carries is channeled in the right direction.”
Bregman’s grand slam was the third of Houston’s three-city, eight-game sojourn, marking the first time that the Astros have hit that many grand slams in a single road trip. Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel also hit grand slams on April 12 at Seattle.