While the Astros are rolling, who seems to be playing catch-up?
While some players are mentioned earlier to be trending up, some are struggling a bit and trending down. This comes to no major surprise though, as it happens during the beginning of the season. With a deep roster like the Astros and nine wins in the bank, early season slumps aren’t noticed as much.
Let’s take a look at three players who are trending down and need some more fine tuning to turn things around.
Trending Down: Jake Marisnick
It could be that he’s still adjusting to missing part of the season last year or just an early season funk but Jake Marisnick is trending down. Despite his two early homeruns this season, he’s only hitting .179 in eight games. He’s also not getting on base much with only a .276 OBP.
Maybe this will be the first and only week he will be on the trending down list. In 28 at-bats, he’s struck out 13 times and hasn’t taken a walk at all this season. This could all change soon, hopefully. But in the past two series with the Orioles and Padres, he had just two hits and drove in a lone run. Without a doubt the Astros roster is deep so they have the luxury of allowing Marisnick some time to find his groove.
Trending Down: J.D. Davis
J.D. Davis was surprised to make the team this year. And so are we. What could be a great commodity may take some more time to develop. In 18 at-bats in seven games, he has just two hits good for an .111 batting average this season. In that same time frame, he’s taken one walk and struck out nine times. More notably he struck out on a based loaded situation against the Rangers last week. To his credit though, he did drive in one of the Astros’ two runs in Minnesota on Monday.
Maybe he is just holding down the fort at first base until Yuli Gurriel comes back, Davis has also seen time at third base. He is fielding well thought putting outs 36 times in 41 innings and not allowing an error. With the Astros hot start they are able to plug and play Davis while Gurriel heals up, but if he wants a legitimate shot at this roster and not be reassigned the hits must come.
Trending Down: Dallas Keuchel
I hate putting a former Cy Young award winner and the teams number two arm on a trending down list but Dallas Keuchel reluctantly made the cut. In two games played, Keuchel is 0-1. In 11 innings pitched Dallas allowed 12 hits and five earned runs posting a 3.27 ERA. The Astros were able to salvage his second game and bank a win.
Though a 3.27 ERA isn’t terrible given the sample size allowed, it doesn’t make it appealing. It’s crazy to even ponder that of the five Astros’ starting pitchers, Keuchel has the weakest numbers. Again, maybe it’s a detriment to having such a powerful rotation the Astros haven’t been affected much by his two-game struggle. He will have ample time to turn things around especially with the way the other four starters are pitching but he will need to command the zone and return to form.
*** Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference and MLB.com***