Houston Astros: Can Jose Altuve bring back his exploding offense this season?

ANALYSIS Houston Astros MLB

Jose Altuve has been through the thick and thin of Houston Astros baseball. The second baseman was signed in 2007 to the organization and made his Major League debut in 2011. 

The 2011 season was a rough one for the ball club. The team went 56-106, so maybe it was time to call up some players. Altuve had 221 at bats with 26 runs scored and 61 hits to bring his batting average up to .276, according to Baseball Reference.

The second baseman has witnessed the 56-106 and the 101-61 season. Talk about a full circle! Throughout his career, he gained more momentum and improved his batting average over the years. He is arguably the most consistent player in the league. 

Controversy struck when the organization was exposed for cheating in the 2017 season, or the World Series year. Altuve won the AL Most Valuable Player award the same year, beating Aaron Judge. Once the news broke people were attacking him for winning the award due to cheating. 

In an interview with Ken Rosenthal, shortstop Carlos Correa spoke out for his teammate.

“Nobody wants to talk about this, but I’m going to talk about this,” said Correa. “José Altuve was the one guy that didn’t use the trash can.”

He explained they hit it sometimes without his permission but refused to acknowledge it. So, with these facts, it is the reader’s job to decipher it. 

Fast forward to the 2020 season, only 60 games will be played rather than 162. The saying “it’s a marathon not a sprint” seems like a paradox now. Major League Baseball is making the game a sprint. Changing the number of games affects multiple factors, but let’s focus on how it may be affecting Jose Altuve. 

The second baseman is having a terrible season, especially for someone of his caliber. Is it the repercussions of the cheating scandal? Or the short season? It may be both. 

Five days ago, Altuve’s batting average was .148 going 9-61 with only one home run in 16 games. Beginning the Texas Showdown, he went 2 for 5 with two runs and two hits. After battling the Rangers, he has improved to a .224 batting average. There are only 23 games left in the season, with a .224 batting average he is seeing the lowest in his Major League career. 

His 2011 debut is his lowest batting average of .276, will he be able to improve it before the season ends? Altuve is a key component to the Astros’ offense and usually leads the team. The season ends soon and only time will tell if he can be the leader he was the past few years.

(Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports.)