The Long, Cold Winter: Houston Astros

Sorry Astros, but you’re going first.

Well, not really sorry. Every professional sport needs a whipping boy – the NHL has the Columbus Blue Jackets, the NFL has the St. Louis Rams, and the NBA has, well, itself. Now, it’s time for the Houston Astros to assume the position, and bend over and take it like a champ.

Its going to be a long 2012 for Houston – even in the meager National League Central. And an even longer 2013 in what will soon be one of the better divisions in baseball, the American League West. And 2014, yeah, that will probably be pretty brutal as well.

Honestly, I have been putting off this post for nearly two months. I wanted to say something good about every team, but what can you say about a team who’s measure of success should be no more than 200 wins – in the next three years?

So, I looked at their depth chart. While at first glance it looks “deep”, you’ll notice these are just names of marginal big leaguers at best. If you had a fantasy draft today, would you draft any Astros? Not likely.

If you really strain your eyes, there are slight glitters of hope on the horizon. The Jordan Schafer reclamation project, let’s hope that goes well. Jose Altuve is fun to watch.

But their stars? Pence and Bourn are gone. Carlos Lee? Who can carry a horse around left field? Schafer cannot.

Paredes? An average player. Brett Wallace? Ha! The Blue Jays thank you for Anthony Gose.

Pitching? Wandy can keep you in a game, Meyers is…well, who knows at this point and Norris strikes everyone out the first time through the order. After that..? Right…Lyon, Wright, Sosa, Rodriguez. Looks for these guys to keep the ‘stros from not getting blow out too much.

What about prospects?

Jarred Cosart. Good. Jordan Lyles? He’ll be good.
But really, there aren’t much in the way of brights spots for Houston right now.

Kevin Goldstein said it better than I can, over @Baseball Prospectus:

System in 20 Words or Less: Trades and the draft improve things dramatically, but there’s still much work to be done.

“…there is much work to be done.”

Indeed. There is much work to be done, but it will get better for Houston. Eventually.

PS. Please rebrand. #bringbacktheorange

Image courtesy of http://www.sportslogos.net/index.php

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