We're only four games into the season, but let's break out the stock watch to see how players have done. First up, the players of the week:
Hitter of the Week: Angel Sanchez - Though he's only hit singles so far, Sanchez has the second-highest batting average on the team and the second-most RBIs. He's also been pretty consistent in the past four games, which gave him the slight edge over Hunter Pence for this.
Pitcher of the Week: Mark Melancon - Meh. Yes, he was good, but I could have easily given this to Wilton Lopez. Both pitched two innings so far and neither has given up a run yet. Melancon has two strikeouts, but has given up three hits. Lopez has one strikeout but only gave up one hit. I gave Melancon the edge, but you could just as easily call it a tie.
The Entire Team, pretty low - When I read things like Buster Olney's tweet about how an NL scout thinks the Astros only have three average everyday players on the roster, it either confirms a suspicion I've had for a while or totally disheartens me for this season.
The Astros hopes are hung on a percarious balance of dreams. When I did that radio spot last week, it was after the Barmes injury. That's what made me really start thinking about this team. If any one of the outfielders starts slumping, they're in trouble. If they can't play defense well, they're in trouble. If they can't pitch, they're in trouble.
Right now, they can't do any of those things. Three of the biggest pieces of their rotation got absolutely destroyed. The bedrock of this team was supposed to be pitching. That's why you give Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez big contracts. That's why Ed Wade insists on J.A. Happ as part of the Oswalt trade. It's all about quality pitching. Not necessarily championship-level pitching, but quality. That's not exactly what the Astros are reaping, though.
I could have listed all the players on the team again, talking about how many have disappointed in the past four games, but that's really counterproductive. This whole team has disappointed, even with upticks from Carlos Lee and the like. How can we talk about J.R. Towles when he's only played in one game? Carlos Lee has a slugging percentage over .600, but it's because of one triple and one home run. What does that really tell us?
It'll take some time to answer, but the real question now is how good is this Astros team? It won't be answered by next week, but we should have a clearer idea by May. God help us till then.