Remember that the season is only eight games old. But the Astros disappearing act on offense is worth a pause of concern.
If I were to tell you one week ago that the Astros would’ve scored a grand total of 21 runs eight games into the season, I would’ve been declared a non-believer or something along those lines.
First off, the Astros lineup will be better. I just want to get that sentence out of the way. There is just too much talent. If this lineup cannot produce at some point then I suggest that the City of Houston test the drinking water at Minute Maid Park.
All of that said, the Astros hitters have been downright sad to watch this far.
Well, unless George Springer and Marwin Gonzalez are up in the batters box. For example, Jose Altuve had a wRC+ of 5(!) before yesterday’s game in Seattle. Carlos Correa had a 94 wRC+. Alex Bregman had a 38 wRC+. And Yulieski Gurriel comes in with a purely abysmal -63, yes, negative, wRC+. That’s simply bad and unexpected.
As an unit, the team is hitting just .175 with runners in scoring position. That batting average drops to .125 with two-outs. However, the Astros have a .265 batting average when the bases are empty.
Another concerning statistic is baserunners scored. You see, only Springer (25%) and Gonzalez (23%) possess a BRS% higher than the league average, 13%, entering yesterday’s game.
The primary reason that Houston is 4-4 on the season is the pitching staff. If the rotation and Chris Devenski haven’t stepped up as of late then this team would be in much worse shape record wise. In fact, much like last season.
This offense simply has to step up sooner rather than later. The likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Yulieski Gurriel need to make themselves known. And while it remains too early to be overly worrisome, if this trend continues in the foreseeable future then the concern will be justifiable.
**Statistics courtesy of Yahoo Sports, Baseball Reference and Fangraphs**