The Houston Astros had high expectations going into the 2016 season after making it to the playoffs before ultimately losing to the Kansas City Royals in the ALDS. With a returning roster of great hitters and powerhouse pitching the Astros have been a disappointment so far in the 2016 season. The Astros currently have a (7-15) record and are in last place in the American League West. They have been swept by both the Royals and Rangers and find themselves in a hole to start the season. There is still a long season ahead of them and they have plenty of time to fix these problems. But what exactly are these problems?
Why are the Astros struggling so much to start the season? Here are a few reason why, Carlos Gomez, Keuchel’s velocity on pitches plummeting, and the rest of the rotation struggling. Basically the Astros’ good players and playing bad baseball right now. In the case of Dallas Keuchel, Cy Young award winner his pitches are being hit harder than ever before, especially his sinker. In my opinion Keuchel is going to be the reason the Astros make the playoffs or not. Now I know that is a lot of pressure to put on one person who doesn’t play every night but when he is on his game he brings something so special to the team and the whole city of Houston that no one else can bring to the table. Keuchel is the face of the franchise and is a key component to team success. For Carlos Gomez, he is playing worse with the Astros right now then he did when he was with the Twins, which is not a good sign. Gomez is swinging more than ever and consequently is missing more with those swings. With it only being April I guess you could say Gomez is literally just “getting into the swing of things” but an improvement needs to happen quickly before the Astros find themselves in a hole too deep to get out of come October. The rest of the Astros rotation, has been more at best giving up many runs to the opposing teams. This may be the most concerning problem for the club because if they cannot find a rotation to get as many wins as possible when Keuchel is out, the may be a long and disappointing season for the Astros.
With all this being said, hey its only April! There is plenty of time to get on the right track, and come October with the talent they have, if the Astros can get it clicking they can be a very dangerous team and a possible title contender in the near future.