The Astros made it through the month of April with a 15-13 record, a win by all accounts after having to navigate injuries to Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley and Lance McCullers Jr. They won their first game of May, but have already been dealt some crushing injury news, losing both José Urquidy and Luis Garcia to the 15-day IL. They then dropped last night's contest after getting three-hit by the Giants.
With multiple key pieces missing, five Astros need to step it up in May. Some are stars that need to take their game to the next level. Others are regulars that have vastly underperformed. And some are unproven pieces that will now be heavily relied on due to injury.
Let's take a look at the five Astros players that need to be better in May.
#1 Astro that needs to be better: Alex Bregman
There isn't a bigger fan of Alex Bregman than I. I expected him to regain MVP form this season and still think he has it in him. If there were ever a time, it's now. Without Jose Altuve or Michael Brantley, with Yordan Alvarez nursing a nagging neck injury, with José Abreu bringing little to nothing with his bat, and with the starting rotation now nursing a bevy of injuries, 2019 Alex Bregman needs to take the field.
His defense has been great right now, but his OPS and OPS+ are both below league average. His .211 batting average is especially unsightly.
He's been somewhat unlucky, with a .258 xBA and a .446 xSLG (.325 actual), but as Dusty Baker once articulated so well, "I want exit hits."
Breggy needs to start driving the ball gap-to-gap and bring more to the table than a multitude of walks for the Astros to pick off wins over the next month.