One under-appreciated Astros offseason move has turned into notable bright spot

Cleveland Guardians v Houston Astros
Cleveland Guardians v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages

The Houston Astros are having their worst start to a season since 1969, when they went 5-20 over their first 25 games. They're currently tied for last place in the AL West with the Angels (both 11-20).

Not only are the Astros' rotation and bullpen ranked in the bottom third of the league, their typically explosive offense is only 11th in batting average and 16th in runs scored.

It's been bleak in Houston, to say the least, but things have been looking up a bit with back-to-back series wins against the Rockies and Guardians. The series against the Guardians featured a thrilling Game 1, when the Astros gave up a five-run lead in the sixth but came back to walk it off in the 10th, thanks to a two-out, two-run, pinch-hit home run from Victor Caratini.

Caratini was one of just two offseason major league signings for the Astros (Josh Hader was the other), and some fans were underwhelmed, to say the least, by the addition of a backup catcher. However, he's been stepping up in a major way for the Astros that might have those fans eating their words.

Offseason acquisition Victor Caratini has been coming through for the Astros in a major way

In 25 games, Caratini is hitting .282/.333/.513 with three doubles, two home runs, and eight RBI, making him one of the more effective hitters off the Astros bench -- in fact, he's even been more effective than Alex Bregman and Jake Meyers in the everyday lineup. He's been the perfect battery mate for Yainer Diaz, who is also hitting pretty well to start the year, and is 3-for-5 in pinch-hit opportunities.

Now that José Abreu has been optioned down to the minors, there could be a lot more room for Caratini to get at-bats as the Astros' first baseman, though he'd be splitting them unevenly with Jon Singleton as Caratini continues to back up Diaz.

The Astros hadn't had a moment as electric as Caratini's walk-off homer throughout all of April; Houston needs a lot of tangible things to get better right now, but momentum and excitement shouldn't be discounted. Anything to get a little more pep into the Astros' step after an abysmal first month of play will do.