Houston Astros 2011 Season Preview
The Houston Astros didn't make any major additions or subtractions in the offseason, which means it's going to be a very ugly season.
Outfielder Carlos Lee got off to a terrible start last year but played better in the second half. The Astros are hopeful that he gets out of the gate much quicker in 2011 and returns to being one of the National League's top run producers.
Outside of Lee, it's scary how bad this lineup really is. The outfield isn't bad with Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, but the infield is an embarassment. The Astros will have to manufacture a lot of runs in 2011.
The team traded ace Roy Oswalt to the Philadelphia Phillies at last year's July 31 deadline, an that's a huge blow to their starting rotation. Wandy Rodriguez is a fine pitcher, but he is no staff ace.
J.A. Happ, the prized jewel of the Oswalt trade, has the ability to be a No. 2 starter. His opportunities were limited in Philadelphia, but he will have plenty of chances to shine with the Astros.
At best, Houston is a lock for a fifth place finish or worse in the division. The Astros very well could finish with baseball's worst record. They have very little talent on the major league club and even less in the farm system, so don't expect a winning team anytime soon.