Baseball can be one of the most non-linear of sports when individual performances are looked at month-to-month or season-to-season. With that in mind, here are a few head scratchers as the Astros wind down on a better, but not good, 2014.
In 2014, Jason Castro was an All Star. Yes, he was not a good defensive catcher, but as catchers go, he was very good offensively and might have set some club records for HR and RBI by a catcher if not for the injury bug (again). This season he has been a disappointment: BA down from .276 to .230, OPS down from .835 to .678, HRs down from 18 to 14, extra base hits down from 54 to 35, all in basically the same amount of games. It seems almost weird that he will likely end up with more RBIs except for the fact that there are about 15% more people getting on base in front of him than last season.
- What Happened? Does he really not care? Was last year a fluke? Is this the real Castro?
- What to do? You tell me
Singleton, a long time 1B prospect in the Phillies’ organization who was blocked by similar high K, big power 1B Ryan Howard, finally made it to the majors this season. His .181 BA and .659 OPS have made us wonder if he will pull a Chris Carter and turn things around or be the kind of hitter Luhnow’s computer would hate.
- What happened? Singleton is young and has struggled at different levels in the minors before turning things around.
- What to do? Beyond his youth there are two things that interest me about Singleton. Even while hitting .181 he is still on a pace for 25 HRs and 80 RBIs, projected over a full season. Also a lefty hitting .257 with a .828 OPS against other lefties while struggling terribly against righties (.154/.599) tells me he has the talent to stay in there against lefties and is swinging out of his shoes against righties. You have to give the kid more of a look.
Tuesday night he got the big hit to win the game and made some glorious plays. Other times he makes errors that would embarass you at a Sunday softball game.
- What happened? Not much has changed with him. He looks great at times and crummy others just like last year.
- What to do? I think the Astros need to not think of Villar as the answer at SS for 2015.
After hitting solidly in the second half of 2013, Dominguez has been a poor offensive 3B this season. His OPS has dropped from .690 to .608, and after 77 RBIs last year he will be lucky to reach 60 this season. He has no speed but a steady glove for a team that features a ground ball centric pitching staff.
- What happened? After putting up a decent .714 OPS against right hand pitchers in 2013 he is wallowing down around a .562 OPS against rightys this year. That is what is killing him in 2014.
- What to do? The Astros have to consider other options for 3rd from inside or outside the organization going into 2015.
So what do you think?