The Houston Astros have been absolutely woeful on offense for a large part of the season. That continued Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Angels. Angels’ starter Garrett Richards was carving up the Astros through his seven innings, striking out a career-high 11 Astros hitters. The Astros looked confused at the plate all game as their team-slump at the plate continued.
Most of the time, I don’t like to place blame on the coaches and managers of a professional team. A player has the responsibility to succeed on their own, for the most part. The individual player will choose how to work out, how to eat, and how to study. However, when you have an entire lineup that is really struggling, then it is time to start thinking about making a change somewhere.
The Astros have lost seven games in a row and the flaws of an underwhelming team are starting to show. Hitting coach John Mallee‘s job should be in jeopardy if this poor excuse for an offense continues. The players look absolutely lost at the plate. Since the end of May, and the end of their winning streak, the Astros rank near the bottom of every statistical category in hitting.
In the month of June, the Astros hit .235, which was good enough for worst in the American League. They were also dead last in total hits in all of baseball. They finished in the bottom five in runs, RBIs and slugging in the AL. The odd stat is that with finishing that badly in those categories they were sixth in home runs hit. That means that most of the hits they did get were home runs, most with not many runners on base.
The Astros have a lot of young talent on this current roster. They have begun the transition into using their talent-laden farm system to build a winning team. Getting top prospects George Springer, Jon Singleton and Domingo Santana, who was sent down after striking out 11 of his 13 at-bats, confidence at the plate should be the top priority for the Astros. These players are their foundation for future success. Having zero confidence in the majors can destroy a career.
If this trend continues through July, the Astros will need to make some sort of move to hold someone responsible. You cannot risk ruining the careers of players so important to your future. This isn’t the last three years where the Astros were expected to be laughably bad. Once the youth started to climb to the majors the Astros were expected to improve. This has not been the case as of late. In fact, a regression would be more a more accurate description.