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Astros: Three players trending down as June rapidly approaches

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CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 21: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Houston Astros hits a two-run RBI ground-rule double against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 21: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Houston Astros hits a two-run RBI ground-rule double against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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Who is trending down as the Astros head into the month of June?

The Astros went 6-3 in their last nine games. All three losses were against the Indians in two separate series. Not a bad stretch and nothing really to complain about. They nearly doubled their opponent’s runs in this nine-game span outscoring them 60-32. They lost a couple games late, but over all a nice boost heading into series with the Yankees and Red Sox to round out May and begin June.

As always, there are players who didn’t contribute much to this offensive outpour. Let’s dive into the downward trends of this week.

Trending Down: Marwin Gonzalez

Marwin was on this list last week and continues to trend downward. In his last eight games, Gonzalez has gone 5-for-26 while batting .192, driving in two runs with ten strikeouts. His batting average has been on a steady decline sitting at .214 prior to yesterday’s game. He has 12 hitless games in 22 tries in May. Like last week’s article, Marwin’s lack of production wasn’t costly. The team won six of nine games and scored 60 runs while he accounted for just four of them.

He will need to find a way to get on base in tight games if the hits aren’t there. He hasn’t taken a single walk in his past eight games. And his OBP is just .295 this year, currently the lowest of regular starters. There is no one to replace him as the bottom of the rotation is currently interchangeable. He’s a starter on this roster and has to remain a starter. Maybe as the weather warms up we’ll see signs of last year’s team RBI leader emerge.  

Trending Down: Brian McCann

Oh, the luxury of having three catchers on the roster can allow Brian McCann to go 1-for-22 in his last seven games. McCann is now batting a low .219 hitless in eleven of his last 17 games in May and six of his last eight. He hasn’t mustered a hit since May 20th. He’s struck out six times and taken no walks in the last seven games either.

His best game in that stretch was May 20th against the Indians going 1-for-3 scoring a run while driving in two on a home run. But again, it’s not affecting the team when Max Stassi and Evan Gattis have picked up the pace. Gattis has turned it around hitting .364 and Stassi batting a .375 in their last seven games allows McCann to sit in this funk. Hopefully he will gather himself and return to form as he did in April. He’s been put on the DL. Take your time McCann, and we will need you healthy come August.

Trending Down: Dallas Keuchel

There isn’t much to trend down with Dallas Keuchel. He’s a mere 3-6 on the season with a 3.39 ERA in 11 games. In his last two starts, he pitched a total of 11 innings while allowing 14 hits and six earned runs. He notched a loss against Cleveland on May 19th allowing four earned runs on six hits in five innings of work. He only struck out three batters.

His next outing against Cleveland in the second series, he took a no-decision allowing a season-high, eight hits, with two earned runs before being pulled after six innings. The offense came alive adding nine runs of their own, again posing the question; “Why can’t Dallas Keuchel get run support when he’s on the plate?” Instead, the win went to Joe Smith. It was a game Keuchel could’ve won, but it also could’ve been worse, too. 

Next: Astros: Three players trending up as the team narrows the margin in the AL

We have come to terms that Keuchel and his best stuff just hasn’t been there every start this season. It’s only May, maybe it’ll show up, but as of right now he should be slotted as the fifth starter especially with the way the other four are throwing.

*** Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference and MLB.com ***

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