June was an up and down month for an Astro team dealing with a bunch of overlapping injuries. They started off at 10-3, then lost 7 in a row to fall to 10-10 before rallying to finish the month at 15-12. Unlike many previous months, there were not a bunch of players vying for the top spots below, but there were at least some solid choices.
Starting Pitcher of the Month. Gerrit Cole. Cole ended May with a mediocre 4.02 ERA, but 6 strong starts in June from him pulled his overall ERA down to a fine 3.28. For the month he was 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA, 1.026 WHIP in 38 innings with 49 Ks as he continued to lead the majors with 161 strikeouts on the year He deserved been better than those 3 wins as he only gave up 1 ER in four of his starts and 2 ER in his other two.
Runner-up. Wade Miley. Miley nosed out Verlander for this spot with a 1-1 record, 3.76 ERA and 1.253 WHIP. Verlander’s 10 home runs allowed on the month drove him to a 4.02 ERA in June.
Last Month. Justin Verlander was the winner and Brad Peacock was the runner-up.
Everyday Player of the Month. Yordan Alvarez. In only 16 games and 60 ABs, young YA was a revelation – cobbling together a .317 BA/ .406 OBP/ 1.139 OPS slash while scoring 12 runs, hitting 7 HRs and knocking in an impressive 21 runs. He was one of the few bright spots for an offense starving for some clutch hitting.
Runner-up. Robinson Chirinos. Despite a so-so batting average, Chirinos’ other numbers were pretty impressive for a player who is normally in the 7th or 8th spot in the order. He slashed .235 BA/.376 OBP/ .906 OPS, scored 12 runs, hit 6 HRs and knocked in 17 runs during June.
Last Month. George Springer was the winner and Alex Bregman was the runner-up.
Relief Pitcher of the Month. Will Harris had the best month for a bullpen that was struggling during June. He put up a sterling 1.59 ERA along with a 1-1 record in 11.1 IP.
Runner-up. Collin McHugh – Sure he struggled a little Sunday and only pitched in 4 games in June with his stay on the IL, but he showed to be healthy again and that he is ready to take back his role from 2018 for late inning, high leverage support.
Last Month – The winner was Ryan Pressly and Will Harris was the runner-up.
Biggest Surprise (Positive). Myles Straw. There’s no power there, but he has put up a slash .298 BA/.400 OBP/.783 OPS that is more than acceptable, plus showing the kind of speed that puts pressure on the defense (when he doesn’t miss touching 3rd base). Oh and he has been decent in limited reps at SS after just learning it this season at AAA.
Runner-up. Cy Sneed. That 6.00 ERA in one appearance does not get the heart pumping, but he toughed it out through 6 innings of 4 run relief when the bullpen was gassed and Brad Peacock had gone out after 3 innings and onto the IL. He was not great, but A.J. Hinch did not have to go and rescue him and that was a team victory.
Last Month – Josh James was the winner with Aledmys Diaz as the Runner-up
Biggest Disappointment. Brad Peacock. Probably unfair considering he was probably pitching through an injury, but with their struggles with the 5th spot in the rotation, they really did not need the 4th spot in the rotation to go 1-4 with a 6.39 ERA in June.
Runner-up. Tyler White. Even though his OBP and OPS don’t suck, his 5 runs scored, 2 HRs and 7 RBIs are pretty pitiful for a guy who has had so many ducks on the pond in front of him.
Last Month – The “winner” was Jose Altuve with Tyler White as the runner-up.
The surprising stat award. OK – two surprising stats. The Astros won 15 games and their closer, Roberto Osuna had only 1 save. Mr. Pressly also had a save during the month. The other surprising stat? Jose Altuve in 48 June at bats had 1 – I said 1 – walk for the month. So even though he hit .292 BA, his .314 on base percentage was 8th among the everydays on the team in June.
The Barnum and Bailey Juggler Award. A.J. Hinch. In a month when he got only 2 HRs and 5 RBIs total out of Carlos Correa, Aledmys Diaz, Jose Altuve and George Springer and only 4 wins total from starters Verlander, Miley and Peacock, Hinch squeezed a 15-12 record out of this team.
Bottom line, do you agree with these awards?
Want to propose awards of your own?