Houston Astros: Three observations from early May

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 06: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros triples in the sixth inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on May 6, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 06: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros triples in the sixth inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on May 6, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros DH Evan Gattis
ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 01: Evan Gattis #11 of the Houston Astros hits a Single RBI in the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 1, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images) /

Offensive Woes

Well, the biggest problem we have is our strengths. Not the current strength in our pitching. I’m talking about the strength from last season. That’s our offense. As of now, the Houston Astros are currently hitting .252 as a team. That’s good for tenth in the league, which is only one spot higher than the Yankees.

This season, they’ve had sixteen games where we’ve scored three runs or less. The Astros are 6-10 when they score three or fewer in the game. So the makeup the team’s offense is not in sync. Our pitching has kept us in the game. But the offense has let them down by not contributing, especially with runners in scoring position.

Seems like the only guys who have been stepping up are Jose Altuve (.324) and Carlos Correa (.298). Altuve is no surprise since he’s playing like he has been while Correa is simply a freak. But as far as everyone is concerned, they have yet to really carry the luggage. Yes, George Springer is picking up some steam with a team-leading seven home runs. But, I’ve seen him go down in critical situations when a year ago, he would tear up the ballpark. Yuli Gurriel is the next member of the Houston Astros in line for a hot spurt.

But this leaves four guys in the line up who are not stepping up.

The Frustrating Four

Alex Bregman (.254 BA, 19 K’s)

Evan Gattis (.188 BA, 8 RBI, 1 HR, 28 K’s)

Marwin Gonzalez (.224 BA, 17 RBI, 33 K’s)

Josh Reddick (.235 BA, 17 RBI, 6 HR, 23 K’s)

These four guys are not stepping up when we need them too. It’s still early and I get it. But I feel that the talk about early in the season has to be put to an end right about now or else we might find ourselves in a 2016 position and not a 2015 or 2017 spot.

Alex Bregman

I think Bregman may get off the hook here because this is the third time where he has a bad start but, then comes alive. So if this is the case, then Bregman should emerge as a potential player with a hot streak. At this rate, the only positives I see from Bregman are his incredible glove and outrageous plays on defense. Most players in any lineup are only there for defensive purposes. But Bregman is expected to be a two-way player in both hitting and defense.

Evan Gattis

We love Gattis as a fan favorite. But it would be helpful if Gattis were to contribute as he has started to become a home run or strikeout hitter. This is funny because he’s only had one homer all season long so far. The other problem with Gattis is that he has yet to have any playing time behind the plate. We already have two incredible catchers in Brian McCann and Max Stassi and both have been rotating time between the starting rotation. But they’ve also pinch hit or came in as subs. I feel Gattis should be brought in to help catch just to make both catchers have rest before their next start.

Marwin Gonzalez

Last season, we all felt that Gonzalez should’ve been an all-star after the incredible season he had. He was without question the biggest impactful player all season long on offense after posting a .303 batting average with 90 RBI. But this season, he’s driven in 17 RBI. But he has also struck out 33 times. This is not good for a guy who’s most memorable at-bat tied a critical World Series game. It’s still too early to determine if Marwin’s last season was a one-year wonder. But unless Marwin gets going, you can bet that there might be some rumblings from the naysayers.

Josh Reddick

Regretfully, I had to include Reddick here because he started the season as our best hitter, including two grand slams. But since then, he’s been brought down by a struggle. In the last fifteen games, he’s batted .182 driving in eight RBI while striking out fifteen times. In every season of Reddick’s career, there have only been three times when he didn’t bat .200 and one of those years was 2017 when he hit .314. It’s the same thing with Gonzalez as far as his last season being his best season ever. But unlike Gonzalez, Reddick has been productive in every other category.

When you have four guys that are struggling in the lineup, it does hurt your team’s chances to win. At some point soon, maybe next week or two, those four guys will get going while others will struggle.  I will throw in a few other names into the hat.

Derek Fisher

Jake Marisnick

These two guys have struggled from the plate hitting under .200 at this point. It’s vital that they have to get going soon. We need more than just one run to win because our pitchers can’t win 1-0 games all the time. But then that’s where problem two occurs.