Darin Erstad is mired in a lengthy slump.
Granted, the Jamestown, N.D., native doesn’t play much. He’s appeared in 54 games for the Houston Astros but gotten just 63 at-bats. However, he is 0-for-23 since getting a hit on Mother’s Day (May 10). That’s quite a long time to go without a hit.
You can chalk up a slump like that to a number of factors.
First, Erstad is on the backside of his career. His hard-nosed play throughout his career might be finally taking a toll on him.
Also, it’s not easy being a pinch-hitter. Former Minnesota Twins manager Tom Kelly and current manager Ron Gardenhire have always said they tried to get their bench players a start at least once every week just to keep their whole rosters fresh and ready. During the recent 0-for-23 slide, Erstad has had just two games where he’s gotten more than one at-bat.
Playing time has been sparse for Erstad, who now carries a .111 batting average this season. At this point in his career, he needs to adjust to a role as a back-up player if he wants to survive in the big leagues. However, a start every once in awhile would make things a little easier for him.