By Josh Sippie @sippenator101 on April 24, 2014
We’re just under a month into the 2014 season, and the Houston Astros are faring just slightly better than they were last year so clearly someone is to thank for this slight bump in success. While this season is going a bit worse than what was expected, there are still several players doing all they can and then some to make sure the Astros stay afloat. Here are the top five Astros performers thus far into the season.
I know what you're thinking: a .212 average is far from impressive. You're absolutely right, but the Astros have to score somehow and it's mostly been through their backstop. Castro is third amongst AL catchers in OBPS and his four home runs and eleven RBIs are second. So yeah, still kind of impressive.
I had to pick someone out of the bullpen because, although it seems impossible, this bullpen is better than last year's. Albers has given up only one run in the 10.0 innings he's pitched. Hopefully he can continue that trend and maybe whittle his way into the closer role so that Astros fans don't have to hold their breath for the last three outs every game.
The Astros' starting pitchers have been phenomenal, as can be seen by the top three on this list. Brett Oberholtzer is one of them. He's continued right where he left off last year, with steady dominance and quality starts upon quality starts. It's nice having more than just Scott Feldman to rely on. Despite being 0-3, Oberholtzer's 3.04 ERA and 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio are more than enough to be pleased with his performance.
Dallas Keuchel wasn't even expected to make the starting rotation going into spring training, but he's turned out to be just as reliable as Oberholtzer. At 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA and a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio to boot, Keuchel is having his best year thus far. Hopefully he can find a way to keep it going, because just like with Oberholtzer, it really is nice to be able to have a reliable player on such an inexperienced team.
This was a given. Scott Feldman was acquired as a veteran placeholder ace, but what he's become is a dominant pitching machine. Feldman is 2-1 with a 1.69 ERA and a .94 WHIP to go along with it. The Astros could not have found anyone better to be teaching these young starters what pitching in the Majors is all about.
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