Jose Altuve as the Astros’ No. 2 hitter?

That’s what first-year manager Bo Porter is thinking three days into spring training.

Porter said Wednesday, Altuve will ideally be the Astros’ second hitter in 2013. As a result, the club is searching for a leadoff man, with shortstops Tyler Greene and Marwin Gonzalez as initial lead candidates. The duo are expected to platoon at short this season, though, meaning the Astros could have a revolving door at the top of the lineup if neither player claims the position every day and Altuve takes the No. 2 spot.

“Just looking at the numbers, I would love to have Altuve hit second,” Porter said during a pre-workout interview at Osceola County Stadium. “But we’re going to need someone to take the bull by the horns and grab hold of that leadoff spot. We know that he’s capable of doing it if need be. … We have guys that can hit in the middle of the lineup. I’m more looking for the top of the lineup to shape itself out.”

The 3-6 hitters in the Astros’ lineup are fluid and Porter acknowledged spots could regularly fluctuate this season based off pitching matchups and positional advantages. Carlos Pena is likely the team’s everyday designated hitter, since Porter wants an experienced veteran as the Astros’ first-ever DH. But Pena isn’t locked into the four hole, while Brett Wallace, Chris Carter, Justin Maxwell, J.D. Martinez and Rick Ankiel will vie for middle-of-the-lineup at-bats.


Porter wants a leadoff hitter who isn’t afraid hitting with two strikes, is willing to take pitches and has the ability to drive the ball.

“I like to have a guy in the top of the lineup who can actually do some damage,” Porter said. “Hoping that, in the top of the lineup, this guy is going to get more fastballs and is going to put him into a position to ignite the team and get rallies started.”