We are not even one week into spring and already the Houston Astros have had seven hit batsmen.
And if you think that’s bad, it is going to get worse when the regular season begins.
Astros hit by pitch count revealed with video footage
Spring Training is a totally different animal than the MLB regular season.
The fans and players interact a lot more, the veterans don’t try too hard in the games as their main goal is just to get into regular-season shape, and you won’t usually see players getting hit by pitches.
Well, that is until this season.
At this pace, the Houston Astros batters may set a record for hit batsmen in the preseason.
It’s unknown if they have a stat for most HBP’s in the exhibition season. However, if they do the Houston Astros are surely on their way to setting a new record for the most.
After just five games the Astros have a 2-3 MLB Spring Training record, and they have had seven batters hit by a pitch. An ESPN SportsCenter video on Instagram shows the highlights.
Is it intentional? Maybe, maybe not, but many people might say, yes, it is definitely intentional.
The simple truth is a lot of players, and almost every MLB fan outside of Texas feels the Astros punishment for their sign-stealing scandal was a joke.
Worst yet to come for Astros
Houston is full of talented players. They didn’t need to steal signs to win the 2017 World Series.
However, the simple fact is they did steal signs, they admitted it and apologized – in the lamest way possible, and the fans and a lot of players are angry about it.
But if you do want to blame an outsider for the Astros being heckled this entire upcoming season, you can blame MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.
Manfred had a chance to drop the hammer on the Astros for their admitted scandal and he chose not to.
Fining the Astros $5 million and taking away future draft picks is no punishment and the fans know it. Houston players should have faced suspensions.
Several players, like Cody Bellinger, went on record saying that the punishment handed down on Houston was a joke.
That’s why, like it or not, this is all going to get worse, long before it gets better.
Not only will the jeers rain down on the players every at-bat when they are on the road, but trust, at the right time, many Houston players are going to face the high heat.
“Just. The. Beginning. 3 or 4x this year easy compared to the rest of the league,” ESPN’s Jordan Schultz commented on the Sportscenter video.
During the 2019 season, Astros batters were hit by pitches 41 times. The team average in 2019 was 66.
At this pace, Houston may flirt with that number in the preseason! It’s going to be an interesting season in the Heart of Texas, that’s for sure.