Villar back in lineup after baserunning gaffe
HOUSTON -- One day after he was pulled in the second inning vs. the Twins for unsuccessfully trying to stretch a single into a double while his team was trailing, 4-1, rookie shortstop Jonathan Villar said Wednesday aggressiveness is just part of his game.
"I played like that every time," he said. "I play hard. That's my game."
Astros manager Bo Porter didn't hesitate in pulling Villar, though he had him back in the lineup Wednesday batting first and playing shortstop. Porter said he made his statement on Tuesday and was ready for Villar to get back on the field.
"The statement was made last night when he got pulled out of the game, and that conversation that followed the action was more so for him to understand exactly why, and moving forward I believe that he will receive it the right way," Porter said.
Porter doesn't want to stifle Villar's aggressiveness, but he would rather he pick and choose when to take chances.
"As a young player that's aggressive, there's going to be things which happened throughout the course of the game that sometimes it may warrant a conversation during the game or may warrant a conversation after the game," Porter said.
First-base coach Dave Clark had such a conversation with right fielder L.J. Hoes in the second inning Tuesday after he didn't get to a ball quick enough and allowed a Twins runner to advance from first to third, though the runner didn't score.
"That shouldn't happen," Porter said.
Earlier this year, Porter removed outfielder J.D. Martinez from a game after he swung at the first pitch when the hitters were instructed to take some pitches and buy some time for their starting pitcher. Porter said Martinez and Villar are the only two players he's pulled from a game this year for disciplinary reasons.
"All of these things are going to help us be a better baseball team as we move forward," he said.