It’s old news to talk about what the Astros need to improve on this season. They’ve already hit triple digits in the loss column yet again (so applause?), so the only rational thing to do is focus on the off-season and 2014, right? Right?
But in all seriousness… At the Major League level, the Astros don’t have much to brag about, but those young, fresh faces in the farm system, the ones people have been talking about for years, those are the ones the Astros are going to have to pay heavy attention to this off-season and in Kissimmee at training camp. Three #1 picks in three years has got to pay off eventually.
Of course pitching is where it hurts the most for Houston. It wasn’t that long ago that the ‘Stros relied on the arms of Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez, and even Bud Norris.
The Astros are in need of, once again, a reliable and consistent pitching rotation. To be effective, Houston needs three pitchers that can consistently go 6-7 strong innings every game. Currently there isn’t even one in an Astros uniform. That shouldn’t be on your Wish List, but rather your Must-Have-To-Stay-In-The-League List. Or as @JohnReyes2013 on Twitter says, “sign an inning eating veteran.”
To date, Astros pitchers have walked 49 more batters than every other single MLB team and currently rank 30th (dead last) in the Win-Loss column and ERA. (The Cleveland Indians have the second most walks, in case you’re wondering.)
The days of the Biggio’s and Bagwell’s serving as leaders for the rookies are long gone, but the Astros need to cash in on some cheap veterans to help the team in pretty much every area, especially mentoring these younger guys.
If you’ve ever had a need to believe in a slogan, the Astros current one would be it: It’s a Whole New Ballgame. For Astros fans, lets hope that holds true in just six months.
Here is The Blonde Side’s Top 10 List for what the Astros can do to make their team better in 2014…
10. Get new players
8. Hope other teams get worse
7. Go down to Triple A baseball
6. Better yet, go back to the National League
5. Even better, go back to 2005
4. Switch dugouts – clearly the stats heavily favor the other side. The Astros switched leagues, is a dugout swap really that far fetched?
3. No players taller than 5’4 on the roster (clearly it’s working for Jose Altuve)
2. Hire Joel Osteen as a motivational speaker
1. Add JJ Watt to the roster – he seems to make everything in Texas better
And a special thanks to my friends at the game earlier this week for helping me compile such a titillating Top 10 list.
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Jayme Lamm is a freelance sports and travel writer based in Houston and is currently in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Follow her travels for sporting events and check her out on Twitter.