The first week of the baseball season is in the books, so the time has come for our first Astros Weekly Recap. Every week from now until the end of the season we’re going to take a look back at how they did, what we should be excited about, nervous about, and something to look forward to. If you have any Astros questions, excitements, or concerns you’d like addressed, hit me up on Twitter (@HideTheMuddler) and I’ll address it here.
The Astros started the 2014 season 3-3 with dominating wins over the Yankees (2) and Angels (1). Unfortunately, they looked lost at the plate in their losses, scoring only 4 runs in the 3 games.
MVP of the Week
The Astros biggest monetary investment of the offseason, Scott Feldman, collected 2 wins this week, going 13.2 innings and allowing only 1 run. Perhaps more impressively, over his 13.2 innings, he only allowed 9 baserunners for only .681 WHIP. Check out House Of Houston editor Yoni Pollak and my interaction here about whether Feldman will be worth it this year. Scoreboard: New Guy – 2, Editor – 0. (Editor’s note: There’s still plenty of more season to go!)
Reason for Excitement
The young season’s first “Reason for Excitement” is new centerfielder, Dexter Fowler. Fowler was acquired this offseason from the Rockies, along with a PTBNL, in return for Brandon Barnes and Jordan Lyles. Fowler clearly knows how to win over the hometown crowd as he started the season 6 for 12 with 2 doubles, a triple, and a home run. He had 11 total bases before he logged his first single as an Astro! Obviously such numbers are unsustainable, but it is fantastic to have someone with good on-base skills and a little pop at the top of the order.
Reason for Sadness
Dexter Fowler is sweeping this week’s reasons. He found himself in the hospital with a stomach virus, apparently after eating some Yankee’s pitchers that didn’t agree with him. (Good jokes: I’ve got ‘em) The two games after Fowler’s hospitalization the Astros proceeded to score 2 runs in the next 18 innings. He’s home now, but the team isn’t sure whether he’ll be traveling with the team to Toronto next week. Clearly we don’t ever want anyone to be so sick they are hospitalized, but that is especially so when the player is as hot as Fowler was last week.
54.8 – Houston Astros DH, Chris Carter’s contact percentage. In other words, about half of the time that he swings the bat, that bat misses completely.
8.2 – Percentage that is below his career average
22.6 – Percentage that is below the league average
Keep Your Eye On
This week we should keep our eyes on Lucas Harrell. Harrell was rocked for 5 earned runs in his 3 innings of work against the Angels. Harrell “earned” as spot in the 2014 rotation after an abysmal 2013 campaign that saw a demotion to the bullpen. The front office is likely testing him out to see if he is still a viable option for the back of the rotation going forward, but Harrell is out of options, so if he continues to be ineffective, he is an early candidate to be DFA’d.