Friday, November 18, 2016
Astros Update: Problem Solved Edition
One of the saddest parts of the 2016 season was the fact that the Astros, the feel-good story of 2015, were blocked at the door by the Texas Rangers' superb fly to first. This was a team with all the right moves that was losing its mojo, thanks to the lack of Grade-A material from Dallas Keuchel, the complete dilapidation of Carlos Gomez (until his trade to Arlington that is), and the muddiness of the roster, even a year after the ALDS.
However...all isn't exactly lost for the Astros, especially considering some of the moves they've been making lately. Firstly, they signed Charlie Morton to a 2-year deal. Despite being a bit shaky in Philly this year, Morton could act as either a 4th-or-5th starter (if Keuchel-McHugh-Fister-Fiers remains the case), or as a reliever (he could be Blanton'd).
But...we're not here to talk about Charlie Morton. We're here to talk about the hitters that are coming to Minute Maid Park. Josh Reddick, formerly an Oakland standout and Dodger bench player, now is being relied upon to be a steady outfielder, along with George Springer and Colby Rasmus (I think), and to have some stellar numbers, especially in comparison to his last-half stuff.
Even better, the Astros added some catching help, which is incredibly welcome, as Jason Castro hasn't been hitting very well for the last few years. Now...Brian McCann, one of the best catchers in of the 2000's, and one of the few reasons to attend Yankee games lately, has been sent to the Astros. I am a tiny bit broken up about this, as McCann was a nice addition to the Yankee lexicon, but now that we have Gary Sanchez at C, we...really don't need him, sad to say. McCann will make a really nice catcher/DH combo, and will definitely duo with Evan Gattis in terms of home run power.
This isn't a complete rehaul, but it's a way of strengthening what the Astros already have, and securing the fact that they're probably gonna make a run at 1st this year. The Astros are still really talented, and assuming that the big guns stick around (which they probably will), 2017 might be a pretty big year for them.