The Houston Astros definitely miss the presence of Yordan Alvarez, but thinking that he’s the missing piece is a bit overly simplistic.
During the opener against the Giants the poll that the Astros broadcast ran asked fans what the biggest boost would be to the team. The choices were George Springer‘s return, Lance McCullers Jr. finding his best form, I can’t remember the third, and lastly, the return of Yordan Alvarez.
Alvarez won overwhelmingly with over 50% of the vote. Which just goes to show how big of an impact this guy made on the team last season when he won Rookie of the Year with some incredible numbers, seemingly breaking a new record every single day.
I empathize. I get it. I miss him too. I just rewatched the highlights of the record win against the Orioles last year when Alvarez went yard three times. That was the pinnacle of fun, and this season hasn’t exactly gotten back to that place yet, though it’s definitely getting closer.
The Astros need Yordan Alvarez, but not more than anything
But while I can’t wait to have Alvarez back either, he isn’t the missing piece that’s going to tie everything together.
We need to face facts here—three of the four guys in our deadly front four of the lineup are not delivering to their full potential yet. Between George Springer, Alex Bregman, and Jose Altuve, all of whom are MVP-caliber players, the Astros are seeing little to no consistency, not to mention Springer being on the mend longer than expected.
Until recently, Carlos Correa and Michael Brantley were the only two guys with any semblance of offensive clout. Yuli Guriel has recently joined, as his bat is heating up, but even three guys do not carry a lineup. More than that, it’s incredibly frustrating to have three MVP-caliber guys all slumping at once.
More than that still yet, it’s not our offense that is struggling the most. Sure, we looked awful in Oakland. It happens. But our pitching has been shoddy at best. Our starting rotation is in tatters, our bullpen is pretty much all debuts and only just starting to reveal some names that might stick for the long haul.
Yordan Alvarez does not fix all of this. He adds another bat to a lineup that is slowly coming around. Which is nice, don’t get me wrong. But it isn’t the big thing that’s missing.