Zach Levine's new blog post takes on how atrocious the Astros' plate discipline has been, and finds that, yeah, either they're pressing or they have forgotten what a strike zone looks like.
The Diamondbacks are the most disciplined at 20.6 percent, according to the data at Fangraphs.com. The Rangers are 28th at 30.5 percent, the Cubs 29th at 30.8 percent and the Astros will pick first in Double Jeopardy by hacking at 33.4 percent of the balls out of the strike zone.
The buzzword around the Astros on their homestand was pressing. Is the team pressing, and especially is the core of the lineup pressing without Lance Berkman in there. I don't know the technical definition of pressing, but it would appear from how much they're swinging outside the zone that they are pressing, especially in the middle of the order.
Carlos Lee is considerably above average at 39.6 percent, while Hunter Pence swings at a whopping 46 percent of the balls out of the zone. The key for Pence last year was bringing his out-of-zone swing percentage down from 31 in 2008 to 26 last year, which did wonders for his walk:strikeout ratio.