News: Manager A.J. Hinch confirmed Wednesday that he would use Bregman has his No. 2 hitter to begin the season, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Impact: Bregman has occupied that slot in the batting order for much of the spring, so Hinch's announcement doesn't come as a major surprise. The third baseman, who will turn 23 years old Thursday, struggled out of the gate in his first exposure to big-league pitching last summer, but closed the season out on a high note, delivering a .264/.313/.478 slash line over 217 plate appearances. Bregman flashed some burgeoning pop between the minors and big leagues last season to go with his impressive hit tool, and a cushy spot in the lineup between George Springer and Jose Altuve should allow him to rack up runs in his sophomore campaign.