top of page

How the Astros Rose from the Dead

Updated: Jul 2

Uncover how the Astros rose from the dead, overcoming a slew of injuries and pitching woes to now be in striking distance for the postseason.

This will be a two-part series.

In this part one, we will explore what has happened to the Houston Astros since their early HORRIBLE start. We will chronicle how the Astros Rose from the Dead to now be 38-40 and seemingly in striking distance to actually making the postseason.

On 4/25/24, the Houston Astros were 7-19 and seemingly in complete disarray.

  • Luis Garcia had Tommy John surgery in May of 2023 and was questionable for the 2024 season

  • Penn Murfee who the team signed as a longshot had elbow surgery in May of 2023 and had no timeline for return.

  • Lance McCullers Jr. had elbow surgery in June of 2023 and had no timeline for return.

Those were just injuries the team knew they had remaining from the 2023 season. In 2024 the pitching injuries hit a whole new level.

  • Kendall Graveman, who the Astros traded for at the 2023 trade deadline, had shoulder surgery in January of 2024 and was likely out for the season.

  • Shawn Dubin had a strained forearm in February of 2024 and had returned on 4/13/24

  • Justin Verlander had a shoulder inflammation in February of 2024 and had returned on 4/19/24

  • Oliver Ortega had elbow surgery in March of 2024 with hopes he might return in August.

  • José Urquidy got hurt in Spring Training and while returning got hurt again and eventually had Tommy John surgery and was out for the 2024 season

  • Bennett Sousa got hurt in Spring Training, had Thoracic outlet syndrome surgery on 4/3/24, and was out for the season.

  • Framber Valdez had an elbow inflammation on 4/2/24 after two starts and the team was hoping he could return soon.

  • Christian Javer had neck discomfort in mid-April and hoped for a May return

  • Eleven, yes ELEVEN, key pitchers were out or had been out in late April

The Astros scrambled to find any arms that could give them innings sometimes to terrible results. These pitchers were never in the original plan for the 2024 season.

The bullpen was also a pitching disaster at 5.13 ERA.

  • Hader had an ERA of 8.38 (FIP of 2.74)

  • Pressly had an ERA of 7.45 (FIP of 2.84)

  • Abreu had an ERA of 4.97 (FIP of 7.18)

  • Two of these "big three" were horribly unlucky. Abreu was a huge concern for me.

The overall team ERA was not surprisingly 28th in the league at 5.07.

Even the offense was having issues. The batters seemed to be pressing with RISP (88 wRC+) while the team was overall 108 wRC+ overall.

  • Abreu was off to an epically bad start (-27 wRC+) and the fan base demanded change. April 28th was his last game before being sent to Florida.

  • Bregman was off to a terrible start (67 wRC+) even for Bregman and fans were demanding he be traded.

  • McCormick got off to a slow start (78 wRC+) probably impacted by injuries yet to be discovered.

In the face of this Clint and I were consistently realistic about the Astros on our "Astros Weekly Recap." We told folks they were not this bad. We showed advanced metrics to explain that the offense could and would get better without Abreu. We warned the pitching was MAINLY being decimated by injuries. If the injuries got better the team would get better.

The injuries DID seem to start to get better, but it was up and down.

  • Verlander took the mound for 10 starts at 3.95 ERA. Six of the ten starts were good. Unfortunately, his FIP of 4.98 was warning of the issues that showed in the other 4 starts. Since 6/18/24 he has been out with neck discomfort.

  • More positively, Valdez returned on 4/27/24. He has not only pitched well in eight of 11 starts with a 3.95 ERA, but he has given the team innings.

  • Javier pitched one good start on 5/16, but he left his start on 5/21 and since has had Tommy John and is out for the season.

Yet, despite these challenges the pitching has gotten better (3.66 ERA since 4/26/24). Why? Players some fans barely knew were stepping up and the team was finding arms it could trust. Pitchers besieged by bad luck were able to pitch normally.

  • Scott has been one of the best RP on the team. Since 4/26, his ERA has been an insanely great 1.37. For the Brown haters, compare that to Stanek, Neris, and Maton.

  • Abreu found himself. Since 4/26, his ERA (1.40) and FIP (2.49) have been great.

  • Hader stopped being unlucky. Since 4/26, his ERA (1.80) and FIP (2.27) have been great.

  • Pressly has been less unlucky. Since 4/26, his ERA (3.10) and FIP (2.31) have been very good. His BABIP is still an unlucky 0.345.

  • Blanco seems to have the league baffled. Since 4/26, his ERA (2.81) has been unsustainably great (BABIP 0.197).

  • Brown has been the pitcher we all have hoped he would be. Since 4/26, his ERA has been 3.18.

Since 4/26, the team ERA is EIGHTH in the MLB WITHOUT McCullers, Garcia, and the others who still remain on the IL.

Garcia projects to be back by mid-July. McCullers by projects to return by early August. IF they do, they will be better than ANY pitchers the Astros could reasonably trade for.

The batting too is better batting at 114 wRC+ since 4/26. Abreu, an offensive drag to the entire offense, was released on 6/14. The team is hitting 125 wRC+ since. Coincidence? I don't think so. Small sample size? Yes, we will see.

  • Bregman seemed to find it on 5/13/24

    • since 5/13- 162 PA - 161 wRC+

    • since 5/28- 101 PA - 195 wRC+

    • since 6/12- 45 PA - 165 wRC+

    • Bregman is back folks. I am glad the team did not trade them when fans wanted to.

  • Since getting into a groove on 6/8, McCormick has looked like 2023 McCormick (31 PA- 173 wRC+)

  • Since Tucker has been out on 6/4, the Astros are STILL 11-6 and hitting 115 wRC+. That will get a boost when he returns.

The Astros team is poised to make a charge at the American League. The Astros have risen from the dead.

Discover how Clint sees that the Astros turned a corner with a weekend full of energy, great performance, and hope for the rest of the season. Check out the in-depth analysis now!

Next time, we will explore how the West CAN be won by the Astros.

Let's get ready for the Rockies tonight.

85 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page