Thankfully, the regular season is here and the Astros are off to a hot start.
The 2018 Major League Baseball Regular Season is here. At 9-2, the Astros are off to a quick start. Albeit very early, there have been some players who have surprised in more ways than one.
The best team in the league has certainly played like it. Thanks to in part by these three players who’ve stepped up early. Let’s look at who is trending up.
Trending Up: Gerrit Cole
What an acquisition, am I right? The Gerrit Cole trade only 2 games in seems like a steal. Off to a 1-0 start in 2 games, Cole pitched 14 innings allowing 7 hits and 1 earned run. His ERA after 2 games is 0.64. He tallied 22 strikeouts and batters are going .149 against him. Did I mention he’s the 4th starter? I’m not the only one excited about this trade, my fellow writers agree.
We’re not sure how he’s been so dominant, but the Astros are so glad he is. The best part is, although this is very early, the bottom line still looks good. The Astros didn’t have to give up any top prospects for him. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Trending Up: Max Stassi
Remember all that talk about who’s going to take that backup catcher role? Can we agree Max Stassi has earned it by now? Those J.T. Realmuto trade rumors have been put to rest. In only 6 games played, Stassi is hitting .400, currently the best average on the Astros right now. That trade in 2013 is paying off. Astros trade Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez to get Brad Peacock, Max Stassi, and Chris Carter.
Stassi’s home run on Sunday was a sight to see and he has been hitting the ball well.
On a last note, his slugging percentage, .733, demonstrates that power we mentioned is showing is his swings.
Trending Up: Brad Peacock
Brad Peacock, a piece we mentioned in that 2013 trade is still paying off dividends. He’s played 5 games thus far pitching 6.1 innings allowing only 3 hits and 0 earned runs. He is also perfect in save opportunities thus far and while AJ Hinch clearly hasn’t given up on closer Ken Giles, it seems that this may be a two-headed closer role. Peacock certainly has the hot hand and A.J. Hinch will roll with it. With yet such a small sample size Brad has taken advantage of the opportunity.
His slider is absolutely filthy rolling in at high 70’s to low 80’s makes it unhittable. Go find clips. I urge you. And put to rest the talks of him taking over the closer role. Giles stepped in last night and closed it out. The season just began, don’t ask skip for defined roles two weeks into the season. It’s going to take time but it’s awfully nice to have a relief pitcher like Peacock when you need a game shut down.
*** Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference and MLB.com***