I don't know how John Mozeliak and the St. Louis Cardinals did it, but it seems like the moment they traded Brett Wallace in the Matt Holliday deal, the worst-case-scenarios about their erstwhile top prospect became a permanent and terrible reality. Suddenly he was nothing but a first baseman; suddenly he didn't really have the power to play first base, anyway. Now, with Carlos Lee less mobile still and GM Jeff Luhnow back in control of his 2008 number-one, the Houston Astros are going to attempt to turn back time: Brett Wallace will give third base a shot.
The good news is that he has an actual shot at being their best option, at least in 2012. His competition is 27-year-old Chris Johnson, another minor league slugger who isn't really a third baseman, and 23-year-old Jimmy Paredes, who played over his head in Houston after a .726 OPS in the Texas League.
Wallace probably isn't a third baseman, but while he's blocked at first by Lee and his own underperformance there's little choice—on either side—but to give him a shot there. After all, as disappointing as he was in 2011, he was still one of two Astros who remained on the roster at the end of the year to finish with an on-base percentage over .315.