Can the Current Astros Roster Win in 2017?

The 2017 Baseball Season Is Going to Be Very Interesting!

The 2017 Baseball Season
Is Going to Be Very Interesting!

 

On paper, the late 2016 season additions of another promising infield rookie and a Cuban veteran of proven merit at the plate – and the off-season personnel actions by GM Jeff Luhnow (again for emphasis – “on paper”) suggest that Astros hitting in 2017 may be good enough to win against  the opposition’s pitching better than half the time in 2017. As always, how much better does the 2017 pitching staff need to be to help make the new season’s club good enough to win more often than they lose? More exactly, how good must the pitching be, with improved hitting from both sides of the plate – and improved speed and athleticism on defense, to assure the club of a winning percentage in the .556 to .600 range? Those percentages are not sacred or carved in stone. They simply reflect how often a team must win to finish in the 90 to 97 win range over the 162 game regular season. Again, this range simply reflects my comfort zone for what that game wins range will need to be for the Astros to have a good probability for either a divisional championship or a wild card spot.

As we see it here, both the Astros starting rotation and relief slots are quite murky at this point. And to spare us a ton of explanatory words that we’ve all either said, read, or heard previously, 2016 boiled down to these points: (1) the club lost its Cy Young and we don’t know if Dallas Keuchel will ever pitch at that level again; (2) Colin McHugh weakened in 2016; (3) Lance McCullers was lost to injury; (4) the other filler-starters played out flat; (5) relievers were weak; and (6) Ken Giles, the young “closer of the future”, performed more as a suspect than a prospect. So, the question here is: Does the club go with what they have and hope that everybody gets well or turns it around on the pitching side? Do they trade the heart of the farm for “proven” pitching? Or does Luhnow simply place more hope that the hitters and the new easier to reach fences at MMP will allow the Astros offense to carry the club to a winning level in spite of the pitching holes that still may exist?

____________________

eagle-0range
 Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

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2 Responses to “Can the Current Astros Roster Win in 2017?”

  1. gregclucas Says:

    Nice you are thinking of me when your subconsciously typed “Greg” Luhnow, but I will leave all the team building up to Jeff. I do reserve the right to criticize, however!

    This Astro team with no further changed COULD win in 2017. Of course last seasons 84 win club COULD have won, too, if not for so many injuries and/or fall-offs in the pitching department. WILL they win is the real question. The team makeup–particularly with the offense–looks like the best the club has had for years. No “black holes” in the 7-8-9 spots which I felt at times (even with no pitcher hitting) was weaker than the NL days when pitchers WERE in the lineup.

    A healthy bounce back by Keuchel…same for McCullers combined with an offense that should be able to give that pair and the others in the rotation some early runs to work with would be the key. There are, as always, some “Ifs” in there, but the nucleus of the club looks definitely good enough even without all-stars at every position. It will depend on he pitching and the long season health to move the Astros into the post season. (Needless to say it also requires the Astros at least split the season series with the Arlingtons.)

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Thanks, Dr. Freud. 🙂

      I will make the brain-thaw change now.

      Speaking of eerie disclosures. The new TV Series “Emerald City” – based on the original Oz story – has the tornado lifting Dorothy and her car from a road near her home in Lucas, Kansas.

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