Astros: Three players trending down early in the 2019 season
The season is still young for the Astros, however, the club will need some players to step up soon.
Even in the one game when an umpire decided to upstage everyone, the Astros have generally underperformed in this season’s first seven games. Hence, the 2-5 record. Still early in the season, but not a pleasing record to see in the standings.
Although the pitching staff isn’t entirely blameless, the primary culprit behind the club’s issues today lies at the feet of the lineup. As a club, the Astros currently have a .483 OPS with men on base followed by a .458 OPS with runners in scoring position. That’s not optimal.
Trending Down: Aledmys Diaz
Houston’s fanbase, right or wrong, will always link Diaz to the reason why a fan favorite in Marwin Gonzalez is no longer with the Astros. I personally think the situation was more complex than that (see: slow free agency), but the fans will think what they will. But Diaz’s performance at the plate to start the season (-100 wRC+ in 9 plate appearances) along with some rough fielding will not deter the criticism.
Trending Down: Jose Altuve
It isn’t often that we get to see a player like Altuve make this list. Honestly, he may not even deserve it as much as people like to think as he currently sports a 93 wRC+ in 29 plate appearances. For context, a 100 wRC+ is considered league average. However, it is hard to ignore Altuve’s issues when the overall lineup struggles to generate runs, even in a small sample. He does seem to be pressing though in certain situations (.091 batting average with men on base), which doesn’t help.
Trending Down: Tony Kemp
There wasn’t a player more enjoyable to watch last season than Kemp. Honestly, it was impossible to not root for the guy. But the start to the 2019 season hasn’t been kind to the utility player (-29 wRC+ in 13 plate appearances). Again, the small sample rule should be invoked here. But as long as the lineup struggles, it becomes even more difficult to overlook individual shortcomings. In case you were wondering, there were other players I could’ve included into this list (Yuli Gurriel, Michael Brantley, and Max Stassi). However, the three I went with just stood out to me for some reason.