The Houston Astros came into the 2023 season with great expectations once again, and understandably so, they are the defensing World Series champions, and have much of the same core of players returning on this year's roster.
It seems like it has been a yearly tradition that the Astros disappoint in April and the early months of the MLB season. They once again got off to a rocky start in April, but as usual, they began to turn things on as the calendar turned to May. The team currently holds a 31-21 record, and trails the Texas Rangers by two games for first place in the American League West.
The Rangers are a new challenger, but the Astros have the pedigree and should be contenders once again in the 2023 season. However, there are some players on the Astros roster that the fans should be fed up with to this point in the season. Let's get to those players and find out why.
3. Martin Maldonado
Martin Maldonado is a veteran in MLB, as he debuted in 2011 with the Milwaukee Brewers. He has been a well-liked player with the Astros going back to when he first joined the team in the 2019 season. He has gotten a lot of credit for his defense over the years.
Martin Maldonado is once again having a poor season with the bat, posting a 73 wRC+ so far this season, according to Fangraphs. That should not be a surprise, as it has been the case for the majority of his MLB career. It would not be the biggest deal if he was playing up to his reputation on defense. That has not been the case this season. He is at a -1.0 Def on Fangraphs. Martin Maldonado is also not even in the top 30 of catchers according to Baseball Prospectus' Defensive Runs Prevented stat. There is no way around it, he is not providing good defense behind the plate.
Maldonado is at -0.2 WAR, according to Fangraphs. Astros fans may like him as a veteran of the team, but the on-field performance should not be satisfying them.
2. Chas McCormick
Compared to his first two seasons in MLB, Chas McCormick has regressed in 2023. In 2021, he recorded a 108 wRC+, according to Fangraphc. That is solid and above average. In 2022, he recorded a 114 wRC+, which is even better. This season, Chas McCormick is sitting at an 86 wRC+, which is a significant step down from his first two seasons in MLB. He is 14% worse than the league-average hitter, according to the statistic.
Luckily for the Astros, Chas McCormick is at three defensive runs saved and three outs above average, so he is bringing solid defense, but his regression with the bat has been significant so far this season.
1. Jose Abreu
Jose Abreu was the Astros' biggest addition this offseason. He was supposed to add to the lineup and partially offset the loss of Justin Verlander to the New York Mets. Unfortunately for the Astros, Jose Abreu has been a massive disappointment so far this season.
Abreu has a shocking 45 wRC+ so far this season. He just hit his first home run of the season on Sunday against the Oakland Athletics. The wRC+ of 45 is 55% below the league average hitter. That will not cut it on a three-year $58.5 million contract. The defense has not been good either.
All-in-all, Abreu sits at a -1.2 WAR, according to Fangraphs. The Astros need him to play to his career norms to become favorites again this season.