And so the Astros finished April with a record of 8-19. Which is five games better than what one of Danny Knobler's Scout Buddies predicted for the Astros in April. So with one month (plus one March game) in the books, let's get to the Astros' Employees of the Month. (Minor-League Employees of the Month will come later today).
This one could have gone one of two ways. But Altuve did what Altuve does, and that's rack up hits - his 37 hits are tied the Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera and Adam Jones for the Major-League lead. With Altuve as the only Astro with 50+ PAs to hit over .300, as well as being tied
for team-lead in extra-base hits, and whose nine walks are third on the
team, the honor goes to Altuve.
But it could have just as easily gone to Marwin Gonzalez. If you had Gonzalez leading the
team (among players with 50+ PAs) in OPS, then you should be burned for
witchcraft. Gonzalez is hitting .297/.338/.516 with three homers in
April. That's 72 plate appearances. In 219 plate appearances in 2012,
Gonzalez hit two homers. He's already over halfway to his 2012
extra-base hit total in a third of his PAs.
In 18 games (47PAs), Barnes is hitting .375/.468/.525 with 10K:6BB and a team-high three stolen bases.
By default we have to go with Lucas Harrell. In six starts, Harrell was 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA/1.54 WHIP. In his last four starts, Harrell threw 24.2IP, 25H/5ER, 18K:9BB with a 1.82 ERA. In five of his six starts, Harrell has kept the opposition to two runs or less.