Attempting to be optimistic

Ezra Shaw

The positive aspects of the Astros 2014 season through 19 games have been few and far between, but we're going to give it a shot anyway.

It's been pretty bad, I know. Saturday's game hurt badly, Sunday only made things worse and almost killed the inspiration of this post. But we're going to push through it anyway.

There have been good things seen from the 5-14 Astros, unfortunately just not enough of them together at once. We can be optimistic for once, right?

  • Jonathan Villar's defense - The young shortstop produced plenty of head-shaking moments in his limited MLB time in 2013 (16 errors in 58 games) and in a rough Spring Training 2014. But once the games started counting this year, V6 has shined. He's yet to commit an error and has shown some outstanding range. According to Fangraphs, he's already accrued a 1.7 defensive WAR highlighted by this diving stop in Houston's win last weekend in Arlington.
Villarrange_medium
  • Altuve on the basepaths - It's pretty darn rare for the primary cleanup hitter on a team to be leading it in stolen bases. Altuve was moved to the top of the order this weekend, but he did spend 10 of Houston's 19 games in the four hole and now has seven stolen bases in as many attempts. Altuve has averaged 34 steals in his first two seasons, but has also been caught 24 times in two years. Good start to 2014 for him.
  • George Springer - Well, of course. And the five-game hitting streak to start the career ain't too bad either.
  • Brett Oberholtzer consistency - The big stat thrown around during Obie's start on Saturday was his 0-7 record since his complete game shutout on September 1st of last season. The stunning part of him being winless in this time frame is that his ERA was 3.05. Naturally, the lefty allowed one run in 5.2 innings on Saturday, and was in line for the win until Chad Qualls let it slip away in the ninth. Both pitchers are early in their careers, but who sticks around longer, Oberholtzer or Jarred Cosart? Obie would have to be the answer.
  • Took two of three from the Yankees!
  • Scott Feldman - Fight the regression, Scott! Fight it! Feldman's FIP is 3.98 and xFIP is 5.10, but that doesn't take away from what he's done so far. And that is five earned runs in 26.2 innings so far. He's only struck out nine batters, but has also stranded 80 percent of the runners that have reached.

Now how about a series win in Seattle, huh?

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