Not Too Thrilled With the Astros? (Is Anybody?)
Is it already time to write off this season? The Houston Chronicle had a major revelation Wednesday: The folks running the Houston Astros might not know what they're talking about.
They need your support, now more than ever.
Beat writer Evan Drellich doesn't quite state it that way, of course. But his paywalled story is a thing of beauty, revisiting spring training quotes from Bo Porter, Jeff Luhnow and Jim Crane on how much better the Astros would be this season compared to years past. In fairness, no one would really expect the manager, GM and owner to come out and say that the team was going to suck -- they all need to sell the product -- but calling the team the most improved in baseball, exciting, and aiming for a .500 record was kind of hard for fans to swallow back in March.
Drellich's story is centered around Tuesday's 11-4 loss to Detroit. The loss featured another bullpen implosion, and the score was made semi-respectable only by the Astros' scoring three runs in the ninth inning. The team looked awful, it's looked awful all season and except for the excitement of winning two of three from the Yankees to open the season, there's been absolutely nothing to point to any bright future for the Astros.
Let's get the obvious out of the way. The Astros should be a better team next year. And better the year after next. The farm system is routinely graded as the best in baseball, and there's nothing to indicate that's going to change, not with another No. 1 draft pick coming in June and the very real possibility of another No. 1 pick next season.
But the issue is that the Astros aren't better this season, and while expecting the team to win 81 games was nowhere near realistic, it was also not realistic to think the team would look as bad as it did last year. And at some point, while the Major League team flounders, the question needs to be asked: Are the people tasked with rebuilding the Astros' Major League product up to what's becoming a more and more monumental task as each season passes and the losses pile up?