Looks like the excuses just ran out for Dusty Baker, Astros

Coming off a series sweep from the Seattle Mariners, the Astros still sit 2.5 games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West. Luckily for Houston, the Rangers were also swept over the weekend. But the Rangers are no longer the only threat to the Astros in the division.

The Mariners are only a half game back of the 'Stros, with a little over a month left in the regular season. It's been a rough stretch for Houston, and Martin Maldonado called a team meeting after the sweep to discuss some issues he believes the team needs to address.

However, one of the glaring issues with the ball club is the poor level of play from the catcher position. Maldy's issues at the plate are well documented, but his decline defensively is getting harder to ignore. Plus, his ability to call a game seems to be slipping as well, with every pitcher in the rotation struggling outside of JP France. Maldonado recently turned 37 years old and don't look now, but the other catcher on the roster, has become one of the team's best hitters.

Yainer Diaz has really stood out recently playing 1st base while Jose Abreu is working his way back from injury. No matter how much Dusty Baker insists that Maldonado is his starting catcher, something eventually has to give. When Abreu returns to the lineup, Diaz can't go back to being a part-time player.

He's become too important to the Astro offense. And if Michael Brantley returns, he and Yordan Alvarez will be playing left field and DH on a daily basis. At least that's what GM Dana Brown said a week ago. So unless Yainer will continue to split time at first base when Abreu returns, playing him most days at catcher just makes the most sense.

Be sure to watch the video above for the full discussion.

Don't miss Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every Monday on YouTube.

Listen to ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM for Houston's best sports talk.

Most Popular

After another poor performance from former Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland Browns' season is starting to look like an uphill climb. Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb is out for the year, and Cleveland fans aren't too pleased with the way Watson is playing, especially considering the massive contract extension he signed with the team. And we didn't even get to the off the field drama that comes with Watson.

However, Houston fans are invested in the Browns' season outcome as well, with the Texans holding the Browns' first round pick in 2024, and having sent their own first rounder to the Cardinals in the Will Anderson trade.

So each loss for the Browns, means a better draft pick for the Texans!

For Houston, it looks like they have their QB of the future in CJ Stroud. And he'll be on a less expensive rookie contract for the next several years, giving the Texans more cap space to upgrade the roster.

With all of this in mind, is it fair to question if the Texans dodged a bullet when Watson demanded a trade?

DeMeco Ryans vs. Lovie Smith

Plus, we're only two games into the season, but Lovie Smith's defense was much better (with a similar roster) than what DeMeco Ryans' defense has shown thus far, and DeMeco has the benefit of Will Anderson rushing the QB.

Are the struggles on defense more about the roster GM Nick Caserio has put together, or does this slow start fall on DeMeco?

Don't miss the video above as we break it all down!

If you enjoy the videos, subscribe to our new channel SportsMap Texans on YouTube.

And listen to The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein weekday mornings on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM