There were a lot of positives to draw out of the Houston Astros‘ seemingly abysmal 2013 season, but two things about the Astros were horribly, horribly bad: their bullpen and their strikeout numbers.
Well, as of right now, neither of the two has improved.
The Astros’ strikeout totals are steadily rising as they find themselves fifth in the major leagues. Obviously, it goes without saying that Chris Carter is No. 1 in that category for the Astros with 14 strikeouts in 31 at-bats. I don’t think that stat needs any more additional commentary. The second and more surprising shortcoming is their bullpen. The Astros 2013 bullpen was awful as they put up 40 losses on their own and an ERA hovering around 5.00.
Well, despite the additions of numerous veteran arms to bolster a horrific bullpen, the Astros’ relief corps are currently rocking a 6.39 ERA, good for second-worst in the league. On top of that, opponents have hit .297 against them, and they are giving up the most runs (22).
It’s not a good sign, that’s for sure. This ‘closer-by-committee’ approach may not be the best thing. A veteran, dependable closer is the only solution. Whatever it costs, that should be the Astros’ No. 1 priority going forward. As far as strikeouts are concerned, it’s the same guys who are causing the problems. Something has to be done — it’s that simple.