The Houston Astros have an incredibly deep organization. With all of the injuries the team is facing, this is more important than ever.
The Houston Astros have, once again, gotten off to a roaring start to the season. They are, at the time of this writing, 41-20. That is a pretty darn good mark for a little over a third of the way into the season, a pace that would nearly tie the franchise record for wins (109) that the team set last year.
The Astros have had several players step up and perform at an extremely high level in order to make this happen. There have been the usual suspects like Justin Verlander who have just maintained their usual dominance and guys like Jake Marisnick who have seemingly taken their game to an entirely new level.
Unfortunately, the Houston Astros have also, once again, suffered more than their fair share of injuries so far in the 2019 season. For starters, Lance McCullers entered the year on the injured list and he was joined by Joe Smith shortly thereafter. Then, the rest of the team began to drop like flies, losing Collin McHugh, Aledmys Diaz, Max Stassi, George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Jose Altuve in a span of less than two weeks.
In the days since the Astros’ began to pile up, the team has gone 18-5. This is pretty outstanding considering three of the team’s four superstars in the lineup are currently on the shelf.
With this many guys out of the lineup, the Houston Astros were forced to dip into some of their talent at the AAA level. Some of these guys, like Myles Straw and Garrett Stubbs, were expected to get some playing time in the Bigs this year. Other guys, like Jack Mayfield and Brady Rodgers, were completely out of nowhere but have played roles in keeping this team hot and at the top of the MLB while some of the studs are down for the count.
Straw’s speed and glove have bailed the team out on multiple occasions that have allowed the wins to keep rolling in. Stubbs has been adequate at the plate while providing solid defense in relief of Robinson Chirinos. Mayfield has struggled some since his debut but he was clutch in that game to help seal the victory.
Derek Fisher, Tony Kemp, and Marisnick have also played pivotal roles in keeping the team afloat, playing all over the field at various points in the game. Additionally, the versatility of guys like Yuli Gurriel, Alex Bregman, and Kemp have allowed the Houston Astros to weather this injury storm.
Then, on the pitching staff Corbin Martin and Rodgers have stepped up to provide more depth in the pitching staff with some of the key guys injured. Martin has definitely had some control and longevity woes but he has shown some incredible flashes of brilliance with excellent stuff.
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The Houston Astros have been able to call up players from their AAA squad that have dominated in the minors and have been more than serviceable in the majors. A lot of these guys could, honestly, be permanent big leaguers in other organizations. They have allowed the team to play it slow in the injury game, allowing their guys to get fully healthy before they return to the diamond.
Additionally, these players have vastly different skill sets from the guys that they are replacing. A.J. Hinch has flashed his brilliance in the team’s strategy and the way that they are managed from game to game depending on the available personnel.
This Houston Astros squad is once again the best in the majors. They have some of the typical guys like Verlander, Bregman, and Roberto Osuna leading the charge but the true heroes right now are the unheralded minor leaguers that are helping bridge the gap for the superstars. Who knows where this team would be without this superb organizational depth.
The Houston Astros are loaded plain and simple. They have been able to promote guys left and right without losing a step at all levels. Keep your eye on top prospects who could soon join the major league ranks like Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, and Forrest Whitley. This team is flat out ridiculous and what’s happening right now is truly, truly special.