2013 Astros Needs: A Shot In the Dark Guess

Hope this isn’t the scene on Opening Day 2013.

Ready or not, here they come. The 2012 Houston Astros ae about to limp away with a second straight 100 game plus losing season on their way to the American League West in 2013 with even slimmer hope of near term success against even tougher in-house competition. Next year the “Stros will be the fifth club in a five team division that already contains three clubs with winning records and one that’s light years closer than our local heroes.

Assuming we stay on path with the generally agreed upon course of returning to contention in three to five seasons, 2013 represents Year II of that effort and one with little prospect of a surprise early return to the playoffs ahead of schedule.

Bill Gilbert’s August 2012 report noted yesterday that the Astros are last in team batting and pitching, a finding that should surprise no one since our roster most probably uses more AA and AAA level players than most at the major league level. Some of thee players may progress on their own sufficiently to improve on the team’s record next season, but I seriously doubt they will, given the fact the team is headed for a tougher division in a new league and one with slightly different lineup rules and requirements due to the DH condition.

So, what do the Astros do? (1) Find a DH and just grin and bear it until home-bred stars blossom in the ascribed 3-5 season timeline; or (2) try to acquire some low-middle level help that is affordable through minor trades or free agency to  help fill in the gaps while we wait for this big performance egg on the farm to properly hatch. – Since it’s kind of hard to ask people to come see another 81-game home stand in 2013 with little more hope than we saw at MMP in July or August of this year, I’m betting on the latter option as our best bet and short-term hope.

My shot in the dark guess is that we will fall short of getting anywhere close to significantly improving the club on the cheap, we might have to settle for this much: 3 starting pitchers with ERA’s around 4.00 for five innings of work; 3 relievers who are capable of holding a lead over two innings of wrk: and 1 closer who cn get the job done in the few opportunities he is presented.

Next I’d like to see a shortstop who can complement Altuve  as a fielder and hitter.  Is anyone in the farm pipeline even close to being ready? If not, leave Tyler Greene at SS and find a 3rd baseman who does a better job of filling the bill.

Of course, a DH – one who hits for power would be great.

And 2 more hitters who can hit for power and better averages.

Is this too much to ask for by 2013? – Probably.

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2 Responses to “2013 Astros Needs: A Shot In the Dark Guess”

  1. Bob Hulsey Says:

    Funny that its almost easier to project the Astros in three years than project them for next year. I still believe the best course is ignore the idea of getting cheap free agents and, instead, offer Josh Hamilton a 7-yr/$190mil deal that is front loaded so his salary actually shrinks as the current farm players get more expensive.

    Pay Hamilton $40 mil in 2013, $35 mil in 2014, $30 mil in 2015, $25 mil in 2016 and $20 mil in 2017-2019. This boosts the payroll back where the union will accept it, gives the team a marketable face as it rebuilds, gives the cable channel someone to promote who will put people in the stands (maybe even draw away some Ranger fans), announce to both leagues that the Astros are “back” while scaring the bejeebers out of the Rangers, Yankees and Red Sox to the point where they can’t/won’t match such a crazy offer.

    The rest of the rebuilding process is entirely unaffected while we let the kids develop at their own pace and no positions are blocked by middling free agents. Yes, it will be tough to talk Hamilton into being a one-man show on a bad team but nobody else will offer this much money and, for the Astros, some of the money will come back in bigger attendance, higher tv ratings, more merchandizing, etc. so it is money better spent than signing a bunch of Steve Pearces and Zach Dukes.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Bob:

      I’ll gladly take your suggestions over mine. Get us a guy who’ is still good-to-go at the end of the 3-5 year rebuilding time frame who’s also a fence-busting, gate attraction now.

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