Houston Astros “Generation K” on Full Display Versus Indians


During the offseason, the Houston Astros added some players that strikeout a lot to a team that finished second to the Cubs in strikeouts in 2014. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow at the time said that he is aware of the strikeout potential of this team. However, most power hitters are going to strikeout a lot, but they would make up for it with extra base hits.

Luhnow is very aware of the type of players that he has on his team. In an article by Evan Drellich titled “Astros willing to sacrifice strikeouts for run production,” Luhnow joked about the issue facing his team, saying, “We probably will have a few strikeouts.”

So far two games into the season, the Astros have scored two runs while striking out 20 times while only recording seven hits.

Part of the large amount of strikeouts was because Carlos Carrasco‘s stuff was electric on Wednesday night. The swings some of the Astros took last night off of him looked like I was trying to hit off of him. Jason did predict that Springer would have good game earlier today here, but even he struck out. Earlier in the offseason, I looked at Astros “Generation K” here.

Let’s look at the victims of the K’s last night.

“Generation K” Victims from Last Night

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George Springer – George struck out swinging twice in last night’s game. Early in the season, he has struck out three times. However, unlike other Astros hitters he is doing something around the strikeouts. In the first game, he hit the ball that scored Jose Altuve for the go-ahead run in a previously scoreless contest. In game two, Springer had a double and a walk.

Evan Gattis – For as much power as Evan Gattis has, sometimes he looks over-matched when he is at the plate. In last night’s game, Gattis struck out four times. If memory serves, two of those strikeouts were half swings that had no chance. Someone asked me while I was live-tweeting for the site when should we start regretting trading our top prospects for Gattis? It is far too soon to give up on Gattis. After all it has only been two games into his Astros career, and we have him until after the 2019 season. On the bright side, he didn’t strikeout in game one and drove the ball well for outs several times.

Chris Carter – People discussed whether Chris Carter will be able to maintain a decent batting average, but so far he has yet to get a hit. He struck out one time in last night’s game, and zero times in game one. So the King of K’s is showing some patience and ability to put the bat on the ball. Only one strikeout is a good sign that he is could be primed for a big season once he finds his groove.

Jason Castro – Castro received the dubious honor of being the first Astro player to strikeout in game one. Castro finished game one with two strikeouts and added one strikeout in last night’s game. However, after a goose egg in game one, Castro got his first hit and walked twice last night. Despite only hitting .200 at the moment, he is showing signs of rebounding in 2015.

Colby Rasmus – Rasmus looked good in game one despite one strikeout, and raised his strikeout total in last night’s game to two for the season. However, there is the glaring fact is that Rasmus left five runners on base in last night’s game. He is being paid eight million dollars to help those five runs score.

Non “Generation K” Members

Luis Valbuena – The strikeout fever is spreading. Luis Valbuena was not admitted into my Astros Generation K club because he only struck out less than 20% in 2014 with the Cubs. The Astros are counting for him to make contact hitting third in the order, but last night he struck out three times, stranding three runners. So far in the two games, Valbuena has struck out four times, which is tied for the team lead with Gattis.

Robbie Grossman – This is not fair because Grossman has only had one at-bat so far this season, and he has struck out in that one time to the plate. He might get the nod in tomorrow’s day game because A.J. Hinch would like to get the bench players a start. Hopefully, his hot hitting in spring training will continue in his important plate appearances off the bench.

The Astros drew a tough matchup to start the season. Corey Kluber won the CY Young award last year, and Carlos Carrasco is an ace in the making. The Astros face Trevor Bauer in today’s game, where the Astros will try to win the series versus the Indians. Let’s hope that some of these big swings will start producing runs, because this pitching staff can’t be counted on only to allow two runs or less a night. The Astros pitching, however, has been a bright spot early in the season.

From Brian McTaggart’s article titled Strikeouts Prove to be Problem for Astros Versus Tribe;

"“Obviously, adjustments need to be made and we’re going to score runs,” Hinch said. “Facing these two guys was a good test. We’ve hung in there a little bit. Our pitching staff has done a great job of keeping us a bloop and a blast of being right back in it, so our morale has been fine. Clearly, these last two games we haven’t had a lot of action on the bases and not a lot of hits to show for it. It’s two games. It’s early. We don’t want to make too much out of it, but we have certainly faced some tough pitching.”"

All the power in the world doesn’t matter if the player is having trouble making contact with the ball. 20 strikeouts in two games is unacceptable, but the Astros will fix this issue soon. Carlos Carrasco finished the night with ten of the 13 Astros strikeouts.

Next: Astros Five Key Players for 2015

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