Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Blasting Off: An April to Forget

Andy Pondillo and Ray Kuhn bring you Blasting Off as they break down the Astros first month of the season, that did not go as planned.

The Astros assured us improvement in 2014 and it remains to be seen. Despite the new additions to the bullpen, the call up of George Springer, and guys that should be starting to get it, the Astros cannot seem to figure it out. Andy and Ray weigh in on their thoughts through the first month of the year.

Other topics include:
-Everything George Springer.
-Would you consider calling up Jon Singleton and accelerating his clock some?
-Grades through the first month of the year

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Tags: Houston News & Notes

  • Bob Gordon

    As mentioned in another post this site, I think you’re selling Dexter Fowler a little short. He started hot, slumped hard while recovering from the gastroenteritis, and then hit .279 during the past 14 days. In short, he’s hitting better than his overall season line indicates.

    Regarding your comments about promising players coming up and struggling at the MLB level. Not just because it’s a new level, but their very approach to hitting seems different, as if they’re abandoning what got them to the big leagues in the first place. Many of the younger Seattle Mariners seem to be having the same issue, I don’t think it’s an Astro-unique problem. It tends to be magnified, however, on young lineups like Houston’s and Seattle’s, in part because it’s more visible with more players going through that process, but also because with few (or no) more experienced players, particularly in the MOTO, the kids feel more pressure which further throws them off their game.

    Fully agree with your take on George Springer. I think it was a mistake to bat him at cleanup. Doesn’t matter how good the kid is…he’s still a kid making his ML debut. Putting too much pressure on him. Unrealistic for anyone to have expected him to come in and single-handedly turn the Astros around.

    You made a closing comment about Houston having a good chance at a get-well series with the Mariners coming up, whom the Astros “own”. Based on the HOU-SEA series last week, hard to argue against that assessment. I would note, however, that the underperforming Mariners have gone on a bit of a hot streak since then, winning 5 of last 6. Bats have heated up a little bit (they’re not “hot”, more like “thawed”).

    Turned into a weird half-Astro/half-Mariner post. Such is my world. Grew up near Houston, but have lived mostly in WA since. So am a fan of both teams…which worked out fine until MLB moved the ‘Stros into the AL West. Thus, a few awkward situations each season now…specifically, 19 of them.

  • Andy Pondillo

    Thanks for the comment Bob! You make an excellent point about George Springer’s struggles showing because of the young lineup. It is so much easier to be Mike Trout and be trust into that Angels lineup as a youngster and have the pressure off of you. I have faith Dexter is going to pick it up some soon, he keeps a pretty good approach at the plate. I am skeptical over your Mariners, I wish I had an idea of what their longterm plan is right now. Though, I think they should get a tad more exciting as the year goes on! I greatly appreciate you listening to the show.