ANAHEIM -- Astros manager Bo Porter has settled into an outfield configuration of Robbie Grossman in left, Brandon Barnes in center and L.J. Hoes in right, with Mark Krauss getting occasional starts in right. Chris Carter, who started in left to begin the year, has been limited to designated-hitting duties since his last appearance in the outfield July 25.
"It's good to have the flexibility on your roster knowing he can do it, but when he was playing the outfield early in the year, our roster construction was totally different," Porter said. "You look at the construction we have now, I like the fact we have three guys out there who have the capability of playing center field and have the range of a center fielder. You look at our pitching staff, and I think it has gotten better because overall the defense has been better."
Carter, who leads the team with 23 homers and 61 RBIs while hitting .213, has started 107 games, including 31 at first base, 36 in left field, 38 at designated hitter and two in right field.
"He'll DH and play more first base than he would with the current roster construction we have," Porter said. "If that roster construction was to change, it's good having the flexibility of knowing he can go play the outfield given a different situation. Just like [Brett] Wallace can play third base. You look at the way Matt Dominguez has played third base, and you don't want to move him from over there because he's playing such a good third base."