This one was pretty easy to see coming. The Houston Astros spent very little of their offseason resources on filling the void at first base. They instead chose the sleeper pick of Jesus Guzman, who has been nothing short of just plain bad so far in Spring Training.
The position is literally anyone’s for the taking, and so far everyone that’s reached for it has fallen flat on their faces.
Guzman, their prized acquisition, has notched a .160 average (4-for-25) with twice as many strikeouts as hits. His one home run and two RBIs leave little chance of a redemption-by-power scenario. It may come down to a situation where the Astros have no choice but to start him because they paid him.
Chris Carter has followed up a great start to the spring by slowly lowering himself back to where he left off last year. He’s hitting .237 (9-for-38) with his token stat category shining above all the rest: strikeouts (10). However, his 3.8 strikeouts per at-bat is actually an improvement on last year, though that’s not saying much.
Jonathan Singleton, the prized stallion of the Astros’ system, is fizzling just as bad as the others. His .154 average is bested only by Brett Wallace, who was released unconditionally. Singleton is striking out once ever 2.8 at-bats. If there is a positive, it’s that he’s walked nine times as well.
Japhet Amador was a late arrival to Spring Training because of family reasons, but he’s the only one with semi-respectable numbers. However, 3-for-12 with one RBI is far from enough to merit any consideration.
So now the Astros find themselves right where they found themselves at the end of last season: incredibly desperate for a first baseman. Names like Mike Carp, John Mayberry and Tyler Moore have been chatted about, but no good fits have been found. At this point, they might as well try to talk Lance Berkman out of retirement.
The last thing any Astros fan wants to see is another season of a complete lack of anything out of a power-spot like first base, so hopefully this little mess can get sorted out before too much longer.