Astros on the verge of piecing the puzzle together.
I Believe That the Best is Yet to Come for the Astros!
My friends who know me well are going to fall over with what I am about to say, but Carlos Gomez is going to help save our season. George Brett felt that the most important aspect of hitting is having no head movement, which makes watching Gomez’s at bats so frustrating. It’s a simple concept if your head is not moving, your eyes are not bobbing, and you have a better chance at squaring it up. If you can’t keep your helmet on your head, there is a good chance the head is moving a lot.
Is there a reason why Gomez is starting to hit better? To be honest, I can only speculate like you. There are a couple of clear changes in Gomez’s game, and let’s hope those changes stay in place. It is clear that recently he is a lot shorter to the ball, and not taking as long of a swing. The beauty of him being quicker to the ball means he does not have as much time to move his head out of place.
After multiple hits in consecutive games, Gomez followed it up with a three-hit performance on Friday night. More important than the multi-hit games, is the timing of his hits with runners in scoring position multi-hit appearances Gomez’s confidence is up, and it has to be a serious energy boost hearing the fans at Minute Maid get behind him of late. Gomez feeds off energy, and when the fans at Minute Maid cheer him, you can clearly see the excitement in his eyes.
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Looking from A.J. Hinch‘s point of view, the emergence of Gomez means Hinch’s puzzle is one step closer to completion. With that said, Hinch could use one more hitter with some discipline at the plate. With the Astros high strikeout rate, Hinch is in desperate need of hitters who can keep the lineup moving. Despite having some highly touted names in the farm, the struggle to find that hitter has plagued Houston through the first two and a half month.
All season long fans have been on pins and needles for the Stros to call on A.J. Reed or Alex Bregman to fill a hole. Reed had a minor hamstring issue last month, and that pushed him back from any chances at an early June call-up. Meanwhile, Astros G.M. Jeff Luhnow has mentioned that he would like to reward Bregman for his stellar season and let him play in the AA All-Star Game for the Hooks.
On Tuesday, the Astros brought up Danny Worth, who was posting a .340/.449/.550 slash line as a Grizzly in Fresno. Although it brings me much joy to say (in Judge Smails’ voice) “Danny!” every time he comes to the plate, I have to think he is Colin Moran 2.0 for the 2016 season, and the Astros are just buying some time. How much more time do you ask? I believe the time is now and, we cannot wait any longer. Reed has been in a groove this past week, and I think Hinch would like to keep adding pieces to the puzzle.
Taking a step back to March, it was almost written in stone that the Astros will house another Rookie of the Year trophy. Reed led all the minors in OBP, HR, and RBI last season. In fact, his combined slash line between High-A ball and Double-A was .340/.432/.612. Reed finished the 2015 campaign with 34 HR, and 127 RBI (Tops in all of MiLB). The Astros let former 1B Chris Carter go to make room, and we were all gitty to see it unfold.
Astro fans are about to see a lineup that they anticipated back in spring. I am not sure who is going to get demoted, as I believe (in Judge Smails’ voice) ‘DANNY!’ deserves the chance to be the consistent bat he worked to be in Fresno, even his role is off the bench. Adding Reed to the lineup, at a time where Gomez is heating up, could be the turbo boost we need to keep the momentum going.
Despite an alarming amount of extra inning games taking a toll on the bullpen, since May 1, the Astros have had the best bullpen in baseball. The Feliz/Giles/Harris combo in the back of the pen brings back memories of Lidge, Dotel, and Wagner… well not exactly, but it is the closest we have had in a while.
Next: Astros Left Fielder Colby Rasmus is struggling
Daren William of MLB.com tweeted today that since April 29th, Ken Giles has only allowed one hit with his slider, and batters are hitting .118 in that span (6 for 51). It appears we are starting to see a lot of progressive momentum in all aspects of the Astros game. Since May 1st, the Astros have a record of 24-19, and that is despite a record vs. Texas of one win and six losses in that same span. The addition of the new Gomez, and soon to be call up of Reed may be the difference makers to push the Astros to where they need to be.
***Statistics provided by baseball-reference.com***