Five Players The Astros Need More Production From Before The End of The Season

If the Astros are going to repeat as AL West and World Series champs, these five players will need to up their production down the stretch.
Houston Astros v New York Yankees
Houston Astros v New York Yankees / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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Phil Maton
Houston Astros v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

The Astros need the Phil Maton of the first half back.

Houston traded for Kendall Graveman at the trade deadline to help deepen a shallow bullpen. In the first half, Bryan Abreu, Hector Neris, Phil Maton and Ryan Pressly were called on seemingly every night.

The overworking of Maton appears to have done a number. Maton's 52 appearances are tied for 4th most in the American League. Through the first two months of the season, he was borderline unhittable, posting a 0.69 ERA in March/April and 0.66 in May. He finished the first half with a 2.44 ERA.

The second half has been nightmarish. It may be the fatigue wearing on him, but Maton has lost the ability to find the zone. He's walked 12 batters in his last 11.2 innings of work. His fastball simply isn't good enough to compensate for not finding the zone.

In his first 11 games of the second half, Maton has a 6.75 ERA. That's just not going to get it done. Houston needs an effective Phil Maton back if they're going to make noise down the stretch.