In anticipation of baseball’s opening day on March 31st, I’m posting my 2013 Major League Baseball Preseason POWER RANKINGS. The daily countdown will begin at #30 and will work its way up to the best team in the league at #1, highlighting each team’s offseason transactions, news, and expectations on the way.
#30. The Houston Astros
Most Valuable Position Player: Jose Altuve
Breakout Candidate: Jordan Lyles
Notable Offseason Additions: Carlos Pena, Erik Bedard
Notable Offseason Losses: Jed Lowrie
Biggest Team Weakness: Pitching depth
No surprise here. When there are memes going around comparing a team’s total payroll with the salaries of individual players across the league there’s a problem. The Huston Astros have holes in every facet of the game, starting with their inadequate infield and lack of pitching depth. A 34-year-old Carlos Pena, whose 2012 batting average was almost eclipsed by his strike out total, is considered the teams marque offensive free agency signing, and the man they brought in to solidify the pitching rotation, Philip Humber, had an ERA of 6.44 last season, and that’s including his fluke of a perfect game last April. I’m not sure how I would feel if I was a Houston fan knowing that ownership isn’t even pretending to make the team more likable, and that there is a zero percent chance that they have a winning record, let alone make the playoffs. If there was one thing to look forward to it would be that this is a young team and there’s a chance one or two of these guys could have a break out season. Oh, and did I mention the Astros are now in last season’s most competitive division in baseball?