The Astros placed SS Adam Everett on the D.L. with a broken leg. The team recalled back-up Eric Bruntlett to take his roster spot, and Mark Loretta will take over starting job for now. No matter how one cuts this, the Astros have vastly improved their offense.
Whether it has the same effect on the team as Melvin Mora did when he replaced Rey Ordonez at SS for the 2000 Mets is yet to be seen, but given the absolute awfulness of Everett's hitting, I wouldn't be surprised. Why? Recall Little League when the worst hitter on your team came to the plate. You knew it was an out, and it hurt morale. Is there any reason to believe that same dynamic doesn't occur with adults who play baseball?
To drive home the painfully obvious, here is a list of some current players available to play SS. Note Bruntlett's numbers are from 2006.