2010 Houston Astros Season Preview
The Houston Astros are a perfect example of a team that seems to have absolutely no direction from the top all the way down to the players and coaches.
Houston doesn't have the talent on the field to compete in even a parity-filled National League Central, yet they continue to make small trades and signings to try and improve different parts of the ballclub.
While this is happening, they are continuing to give away the little bit of talent they have left in one of the absolute worst minor league systems in all of baseball.
Do you get the idea that the Astros are in dire straits and it's probably not going to be a great season for them?
The starting rotation is led by Roy Oswalt, who was a great pitcher a few years ago but has started to decline. He is still very good, but isn't the biggest or strongest guy in the world and is starting to experience back problems. That's not a good sign.
The rest of the rotation isn't all that bad, actually. Wandy Rodriguez had a breakout season last year and now will need to try to improve off of that.
The team picked up pitcher Brett Myers in hopes that he can resurrect his career and become the pitcher we saw several years ago with the Philadelphia Phillies. I woudn't count on it happening, but it's a risk worth taking.
Brandon Backe, Chris Sampson, Josh Banks and others round out the starting rotation and will compete for the last couple of spots.
The lineup reminds me somewhat of the team's pitching staff. First baseman Lance Berkman is the team's top hitter, but he too is starting to decline as he drifts away from the prime of his career.
Outfielder Carlos Lee is still a force, but there really is a lack of impact hitters in this lineup. Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn aren't bad, and the Astros did sign third baseman Pedro Feliz in the offseason.
The offensive production will take a small hit with the loss of shortstop Miguel Tejada, who signed with the Baltimore Orioles. Tejada had a couple of good years with Houston and even played alright defensively.
Until the Astros get a competent general manager who seems to understand the talent on the team and the minor league situation, they are going to flounder in the bottom of the division.