Which Astros really deserve a lump of coal in their stocking this Christmas or perhaps who just doesn’t really deserve anything?
We are taking a look at the Houston Astros‘ past year, there are those who really should be on the nice and naughty list, so let’s take a look and see where we stand with the naughty list.
James Click and Jim Crane
With one of the games elite shortstops on their roster and whose contract ended after 2021, it only makes sense he should have been a priority. While general manager James Click and owner Jim Crane did put together an offer, it was no where near market value nor Correa’s asking price, and now after his best season to date, the price continues to rise.
With this deal yet to be done and the slew of deals made trading prospects away for a handful of relief pitchers, none of which might return, it’s easy to say neither of these guys should get a thing and are on the naughty list.
Opposing teams fans
OK, I get it, you all want to slam the “cheating” Astros. Believe me, everyone was doing it. Not only was it a one team bashing, but the remarks and props got tired and old really quick.
At least be creative when slamming the team, everyone bringing a can to the ballpark or booing just shows you hate us because you ain’t us. Get creative, and at least, I’ll respect the jeers, otherwise get over it.
I love that Myles Straw was in Atlanta to see a game this World Series and root for his old team but let’s take a look at his year. In 98 games with the Astros this past season, Straw had two home runs and hit .262 with 17 steals.
After being traded, Straw hit .285 with two home runs and 13 steals in only 60 games with Cleveland. If Straw had produced that well with the Astros, he might have remained with the team, and they would have traded another player to obtain Phil Maton.
Michael Brantley’s postseason performance was consistent, and he hit for a decent percentage but Brantley had and off year in 2021. But, is his career coming to an end soon?
I’m not sure, but the 34-year-old left fielder hit single digit home runs in over 100 games played for the first time since 2012 and his 47 RBI are the lowest since 2011. I do love Brantley, but I hope he is back on his game in 2022.
The Astros could sure use some more pop and production out of his spot in the lineup.
With the Astros’ star third baseman being a big part of the power and production in the lineup, 2021 was not good to Alex Bregman. Nothing against him as a player, because he is one of the best at his position, however the injury bug got the best of him this year.
Bregman played in less than 100 games this season and his lowest total of his career. Not only was his game attendance down, but his power suffered as a result.
Bregman was hot prior to going out on injury, and he would have had a solid season had he not gotten injured. So, I guess for second half of the season, Bregman is on the naughty list, while first half is ready to return healthy again in 2022.
Bregman’s .422 slugging percentage was the lowest of his career and mainly in part due to his almost powerless September and October. I can’t wait for him to return to form this coming spring.
Once a consistent veteran and solid relief presence for the Astros, Joe Smith is now on the naughty list. He was traded mid-season and fans can’t say they really missed him.
Smith’s 7.48 ERA in 27 appearances really put him out of contention as a go-to reliever. The right-hander turned in plenty of good outings, however when he was off, he gave up runs in bunches.
With all his struggles, he was sent off to a division rival in Seattle. and after being traded, he was 3-1 versus the Astros giving up two runs in his one bad outing. He also had a 2.00 ERA with his new team.
Could there be more naughty list candidates? Sure, but these are the likely candidates. Most frustrating of all is the Astros’ front office having not re-signed Correa yet, letting Brent Strom walk and rehiring Dusty Baker for another year.
Astros players and fans need a manager that will be there for the long haul that will get them back to October glory, and Baker has never had back-to-back seasons where he maintained his teams high win status, except the last year of his two-year stint with the Washington Nationals. Baker was fired for his teams postseason collapse.