The American League West division leaders, the Houston Astros, have hit that pivotal moment in the season where injuries are beginning to pile up. Nearly every team sees superstars go down after the All-Star break, 162 games a year can really take a toll on an individual’s body. The Red Sox recently lost their ace, Chris Sale, for ten games; Yankees slugger, Aaron Judge is expected to miss several weeks; and Cubs’ sensational third baseman, Kris Bryan, is also on the disabled list.
For the Astros however, the injuries just keep coming. Six former or current All-Star are currently on the disabled list for the Houston Astros. The disabled list currently includes Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Chris Devenski, Jandel Gustave, Brian McCann, Lance McCullers Jr., and George Springer.
The most important player that they are missing, must be the reigning MVP, Jose Altuve. Last season, Altuve hit a career high .346 and tied his career high with 24 home runs. In a time when batting average does not count as much as it used to, you still have to be one heck of a player to hit over .300, let alone anything close to .350.
Throughout his career, Altuve has always had one of the highest batting averages in the majors. The past two seasons, he has surprised the league with some pop when he blasted 24 home runs the last two seasons. This season, the power is not at the same level it was last year. Altuve has only hit nine home runs in 104 games. However, with his high batting average and on base percentage, he is still a valuable hitter to this lineup.
Altuve has not played since July 25 and is expected to be out until after the series against the San Francisco Giants. If the Astros want to make another run for the championship, Altuve will have to be at the center of the lineup.
Behind Altuve, the Astros would be missing George Springer the second most. Springer has been the leadoff hitter for the Astros most of his young career. Springer went on the disabled list with a thumb injury on August 6 and is expected to be out for a couple weeks. Springer is another player who is having a slight down season, hitting .250 with 19 homers; compared to last season, Springer hit .283 with 34 home runs.
Springer adds more pop to this Astros lineup compared to his replacement, Jake Marisnick. In the month of July, Springer only hit .233 with three home runs. Perhaps the thumb injury will give him enough time to regroup and return as the player he was last season. If so, he will definitely help this teams’ odds of winning back to back championships.
The last main player that the Astros are missing is of course, Carlos Correa. Usually, Correa would be listed before Springer, but Correa was having an awful year before going on the disabled list. Springer is also having a down year, but not to the degree of Correa. Carlos Correa has not played since June 25. For the season, he is hitting .268 with 13 home runs. While the numbers are not awful, Correa is capable of better power numbers.
Last season, Correa hit .315 with 24 home runs and made the All-Star team. This year, Correa would not have made the All-Star team with the low numbers he has produced. In the Month of May, Correa had one of the worst offensive months of his career. He hit just .192 and only scored 13 runs. Once Correa turns, the Astros will hope that he can be the player that he was last year as well.
For the rest of the injuries, the Astros were able to make moves at the deadline to replace. The Astros received Roberto Osuna to replace Chris Devenski in set up appearances. In addition, the Astros acquired catcher Martin Maldonado as a backup catcher and took Brian McCann’s roster spot. Meanwhile, Collin McHugh is most likely to replace McCullers in the rotation.
As the Astros try to increase their lead over the Oakland A’s, they will have to with an extended roster. With the majority of their All-Stars on the disabled list, the Astros will rely on inexperienced talent and their strong pitching staff to push them into October.