Every baseball fan knows when the Houston Astros come up on the schedule the other team is very likely to win at least two of the three games. A young squad getting paid pennies compared to the rest of the league, they continue to struggle in 2014. Their offense swings freely and their pitching is at many times as reliable as a batting tee. Many thought after a year of gaining experience in 2013 would help them improve a bit in 2014, but so far it looks like they may be even worse.
Even with the addition of Dexter Fowler, one of the few veterans on the team, the Astros are struggling to get hits. Fowler included, the team’s batting average might have an improvement if Mario Mendoza was in the lineup.
Jose Altuve continues to show All-Star potential. However in 2014 without any protection around him he has not gotten off to as good of a start as he should. Catcher Jason Castro, third baseman Matt Dominguez, and first baseman Chris Carter continue to provide the team with home runs, although since nobody ever seems to get on base most of these round trippers are solo shots.
Rookie George Springer was called up in mid-April with a lot of promise to provide some help to the struggling offense. Instead Springer has fit right in with the rest of the team, striking out lots and failing to get on base.
The starting pitching for the Astros has been shaky thus far with the exception of two players: Scott Feldman and Colin McHugh. Like Fowler, Feldman was brought in this year with a resume much longer than the rest of the pitching staff. He has been great in the first month of the season and for the Astros’ sake maybe something will rub off. As for McHugh, the verdict has yet to come in on him. In his first two starts though, McHugh has been great.
The rest of the pitching, starting rotation and bullpen, has for the most part been a ticking time bomb. Dallas Keuchel has been a bit above average, but guys like Jarred Cosart and Brett Oberholtzer are letting batters get the best of them. The team has no real closer, a definite sign at the lack of stability in the bullpen.
Something the Astros have not struggled with in 2014 is their fielding. They are pretty much the most average a team can get when it comes to their glove work. Only the young George Springer has struggled, making 5 errors in his first 14 games. As an outfielder, this is something he definitely needs to work on.
On May 1st 2013 the Houston Astros were 8-20. On this same date a year later they were 9-19. A one game improvement, maybe they haven’t gotten worse after all.