Once Astros fans are convinced there is a problem, they will not let go of that perceived problem until it is solved 10 different ways and at least $20 million dollars per season are allocated to its resolution. If one does not sign up for this hysteria, they just don't care enough about winning the World Series.
We have gone through this every season since 2016. Perhaps it is BECAUSE of the step back that the team took in 2016, that this syndrome exists.
Fans struggle to discern real problems from perceived problems. I can fall into this trap as well and that is why I try to be so data driven in my analysis.
Just this year we have experienced this several times.
- Early in the season the problem was Myles Straw's slow start. Fans, including myself, were dissatisfied with the risk the team was taking in a post Springer environment to have a comparable performance from CF. We were never going to have Springer-like production from CF in 2021 and the team was right to be patient with Straw and to not chase inserting a red hot early Siri, to not push Leon ahead of schedule, or to not make a panic trade or fringe free agent signing. Straw proved capable as a replacement level or slightly above CF so much so that trading him was part of the panic mode later to address relief pitching. Given what the team eventually did, it might have made more sense to have McCormick share playing time with Straw to actually address this concern.
- When Framber Valdez was possibly out for the season this fanbase went crazy in demanding this team fix this problem. The front office panicked and signed Jake Odorizzi. Then Framber came back and Odorizzi is potentially the worst pitcher on staff currently. At the trade deadline fans clamored for the team to blow all financial constraints and trade for another ace because "you can never have too much starting pitching." Odorizzi is an innings eater at least and another better version of an innings eater may have made sense. Again, the fan base was still solving the initial Valdez issue.
- The team addressed one of their weakest roster issues with not one, not two, not three, but four relief pitchers. Still some were not satisfied. The hysteria for RP help hit it's peak on 7/30/21 when the Astros traded for a FOURTH solution to their bullpen challenges by trading their starting CF. Since that time, the team has lost not one, not two, but three pitchers to waivers claims. I am not arguing the players they got in the trades were not better than who they lost. I am saying losing potential prospects for nothing is not good roster management and neither is addressing a problem for the fourth time and creating a potentially bigger one doing it.
The latest version and clearly the most acute is the Robel Garcia experience. The fanbase has an almost PTSD type response now to infield depth and the worry that the Astros MIGHT end up forced to having Garcia starting again. It would appear that a significant portion of this fan base will not stop until any hint of Robel Garcia is expunged from this franchise. Lost in the hysteria is the memory of what it took for Garcia to be relied upon so much and the options that exist now and in the next two weeks.
- The Astros lost experienced IF depth Mayfield and Tanielu as minor league free agents (11/2020)
- Top IF Prospect Pena got hurt (5/2021)
- Experienced IF prospect DeGoti has not performed well. If he had been having a good year he could have been with the Astros instead of Garcia.
- Diaz got hurt 6/8 and was not activated until 7/26
- Bregman got hurt 6/17 and still has not been activated
- Correa was out 7/9 to 7/16
- Astros traded Toro 7/27
All of these factors happened to get Robel Garcia the playing time he had in June and July
Since the challenging period, Diaz was activated from IL 7/26 and has played nearly every day. Also, the Astros signed and then activated Wilson on 8/6. Wilson being activated meant Garcia could be optioned. Bregman should be back ~8/20. Hinojosa could be promoted and added to the 40-man roster as well. These four options exist before Garcia needs to counted on again. Yet, Astros fans act as if more moves MUST be taken to prevent Garcia from being on the Astros ever again.
What is the cure for PRFSD- Post Robel Fan Stress Disorder? Time. Perhaps with time Astros fan will even relax. Doubtful.