As the season approached the halfway mark, the management was doing some re-evaluation of the club. The hitting of Jimmy Wynn and Rusty Staub and the performance of four starting pitchers represented the season “plusses.” After that, there was little on which the management or the fans could base much hope. Going into the season, Manager Grady Hatton had felt the Astros had four of the eight regular positions well fortified for whatever climb the club ultimately could make. Those were the two outfield positions filled by Staub and Wynn and the second base combination of Sonny Jackson and Joe Morgan.
Perhaps Jackson’ ineffectiveness at the plate has been the biggest disappointment of the season. Whether there is any such thing as a sophomore jinx, Houston management is hoping the first half of 1967 doesn’t represent Jackson’s capabilities with the bat. During the second half of the season, Manager Grady Hatton plans to make some decisions on some players’ long-range capabilities, and this includes several who will be called up from the minors.
Houston players got votes at more positions in the All-Star balloting than ever before. Wynn was the No. 6 vote-getter among the outfielders and Staub was seventh. Jackson, Morgan and third baseman Bob Aspromonte all drew at least a few votes. And even catcher John Bateman, having all kinds of problems at the plate and currently on the disabled list with a broken ankle, drew one vote.