Houston Astros: Dealing with Offensive Ebb and Flow

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 27: Evan Gattis #11 of the Houston Astros (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JULY 27: Evan Gattis #11 of the Houston Astros (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The defending world champion Houston Astros are dealing with the same thing now as they did last August: the injury bug. However, there’s no need to hit the panic button.

The Houston Astros are coming off of a soul-piercing 4 game home sweep by their divisional rivals, the Seattle Mariners. With many key players out, namely George Springer, Jose Altuve and Jake Marisnick, the offensive ebb and flow continues sending us fans on a tidal wave of unease.

However, many out there are wanting to place blame somewhere. Recently, an article by our colleagues at Call to the Pen put out a piece about designated hitter, Evan Gattis.

It’s true that Gattis has been in a post ASG funk. Anyone would feel worrisome about a .217/.283/.391 clip since the midsummer classic. With El Oso Blanco being among a handful of players due to hit free agency in the winter, he’s not currently making the best case to get him a team friendly multi-year extension in 2019.

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Regardless, for Gattis to be singled out just because he doesn’t take the field as often is something which I believe to be folly and gullible. Far too often, light has been shed that any player in the DH role is given far more increased pressure to hit. If they don’t reach base in the first plate appearance, it can often lead to trouble the rest of the game.

Additionally, I have mentioned many times how fans need to be civil with Gattis, yet too many out there still don’t seem to want to listen. They either want him to hit homers or RBI every time he’s up or else he’s useless. That sentiment is both unfair, hurtful, and unnecessary.

For context, here is how others in the Houston Astros lineup have contributed or lacked through the offensive ebb and flow of recent weeks. This is minus those currently on the DL or recently acquired:

Since the All-Star Break: (All stats courtesy of ESPN.com)

Alex Bregman: .240/.356/.400
Yuli Gurriel: .165/.183/.177
Josh Reddick: .217/.280/.435
Max Stassi: .205/.295/.308

Carlos Correa just recently came off the DL, but even he is still trying to find it with only an RBI single and 4 strikeouts in 11 at-bats since his return. Derek Fisher and Kyle Tucker also can’t seem to find productive swings at the major league level.

Marwin Gonzalez and Tyler White have been the only two beacons of light in this otherwise dark time for the Houston Astros. While everyone else seems to be ebbing, these two are flowing freely with a .299/.405/.522 and .317/.378/.634 clip respectively to both players.

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While White has earned a spot to stay with the big league club, this in no way means that Gattis needs to be handed a pink slip any time soon. Honestly, all the best ball clubs have their slumps, even world champs like the Houston Astros. I also happen to believe that as much as Gattis wants to stay with this ball club and organization, the franchise will mutually seek to make that happen.

But I digress, offensive ebb and flow is the name of the game here, folks. From a fan base that demands consistency, we often forget how inconsistent of a sport that baseball is. Frankly, it’s better for them to get slumps and stumbles out of the way now and get everyone healthy in time for call-ups and the postseason run.

You know, like they did last year when they won it all?! How quickly memories fade from some people.

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All in all, Gattis is hitting .236/.295/.475 for the season with 21 home runs and 68 RBIs. The Bear has already lapped his totals from last year and will look to build upon these numbers the rest of the way.