Sink or swim time for Astros' Wallace

Sink or swim time for Astros' Wallace
June 25, 2013, 7:00 pm
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This may be Brett Wallace’s last chance to stick with the Astros on the major league level. It’s sink or swim time for Wallace, who on Tuesday was recalled to the Astros along with infielder Jake Elmore.

“I went down and worked hard,” said Wallace. “I’m excited to come back and be a key part of this team.”

Beginning the season with the Astros, Wallace really struggled at the plate. In 24 at-bats Wallace had only one hit with 17 strikeouts.

Wallace needed to get his swing and confidence back at Oklahoma City. It appears he has. At Triple-A Oklahoma City, the 26-year-old hit .326 with 11 home runs and 37 RBIs.

“Brett got off to a rough start, he recognized it, we recognized it,” said Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow. “We gave him a chance to go down there. He very quickly addressed the issues that we had identified and he was in the top 10 in every offensive category, practically.

“He very much deserved a chance to come back here and show us what we know he can do. He can produce offensively at the major league level. I’m confident about that and it starts tonight. There’s enough good pitchers down at Triple A and our coaches that were down there were giving us reports back that he was ready to go.”

The left-handed hitting Wallace was in the Astros’ starting lineup on Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals, batting second as the designated hitter.

“He went to Triple A, and he did very thing we asked him to do,” said Astros manager Bo Porter. “He swung the ball well down there.”

Wallace played 51 games with the Astros in 2010, hitting .222 with two home runs. In 115 games with the Astros in 2011, Wallace batted .259 with five home runs. Last season in 66 games with the Astros, Wallace hit .253 with nine home runs.

Although a separate deal, Wallace was part of the Astros-Phillies Roy Oswalt trade.

Wallace said he’s made an adjustment at the plate with his hands that has helped raise his batting average at Oklahoma City.

“I’ve always hit with my hands held high like high above my shoulders,” said Wallace. “We worked on a lot of things. From using my lower half (of the body) more to also getting my hands a little lower.

“We were trying to find the most sufficient way to hit. It was something I tried. I think I got to a place where I wasn’t as comfortable with my hands. So we made an adjustment to go back to where I was more in the past and find a comfort zone. That’s where I’m now and I’m excited to go with it.”

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