Potential earns Grossman a start in two-hole

Potential earns Grossman a start in two-hole

HOUSTON -- Robbie Grossman set out this spring to work his way to the top of order, which seemed pretty much impossible after manager Bo Porter proclaimed several times this winter that Dexter Fowler would hit first, Jose Altuve would hit second and Jason Castro would hit third.

Because of the way Grossman swung the bat this spring, Porter changed his mind by late March and said Grossman would be penciled into the lineup in the second spot to start the season. He hit second on Tuesday, ahead of Fowler and before Altuve and Castro.

"It's a good accomplishment for me," said Grossman, a switch-hitter with high on-base percentage potential. "It was a personal goal this offseason to hit at the top of the order at some point this season. It's an exciting day."

Altuve, who will hit third or fourth most days, depending on matchups, said he told Grossman he was perfect for the second spot in the order.

"You can go ask him," Altuve said. "I told him a couple of weeks ago that I wanted him hitting second, no matter if I was going to be hitting ninth or eighth. I think he's going to one of the best second hitters in baseball."

Altuve was asked to elaborate: "Dexter is a guy that can run, can get on base a lot. Robbie is a guy who can hit the ball in the hole, hit some balls in the gap, hit with some power. Those guys, they're going to be really good no matter who is going to be hitting behind them."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com 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.