Goatriders of the Apocalypse

What's Going On In Houston?


At the time of this writing the Astros are 0-7.  They've been outscored 42-13, a run differential of -29, easily the worst in the majors.  A lot of teams will lose 7 in a row, but I think this streak the Astros are on is indicative of something a lot more severe..the Astros are done for as a remotely competitive team for a LONG time.

Some issues facing Houston:
*Of their 4 best players, only Hunter Pence is on the right side of 30.  Roy Oswalt (turns 33 this season), Carlos Lee (turns 34 this season), and Lance Berkman (just turned 34) are well past their primes, and all three are signed to large contracts that continue through 2011 or later (assuming Houston exercises their option on Berkman).

*Amongst their other regular players, they have very few players who would be considered league average starters.  I suppose Wandy Rodriguez could fit that bill, and perhaps Michael Bourn if you're feeling generous and you catch him during one of his good seasons.  Other than that, who's good on this team?  JR Towles?  Pedro Feliz?  Bud Norris?  Matt Lindstrom?  I don't think so.

*A good majority of this could be overlooked if the Astros had some good minor league talent on the cusp of breaking through to the big leagues, but they don't.  Kevin Goldstein, who does a great job writing about the minor leagues for Baseball Prospectus, recently ranked the Astros farm system 28th in the majors before the 2010 season.  About the only player they have in their system that could significantly help in the next 12 months is 2008 1st round pick Jason Castro, a catcher, but even he's more of a "nice piece" than a budding star.

*So far we have an aging overpaid core, few complimentary players, a barren farm system...add to that an owner who historically frowned on rebuilding.  Drayton McLane oversaw the end of the Killer B's era where Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio were rode into the ground.  His GM is Ed Wade, whose track record is spotty at best.  Wade has a soft spot for former Phillies, which explains the offseason signings of Pedro Feliz and Brett Myers, neither of whom are going to really help this team.

It's looking bad, and I can't see it getting any better in Houston.  I think its quite likely they finish in last this year, and could even lose 100 games this year or next.  Their stars continue to get older, and they have no one outside of Hunter Pence to carry the torch throughout the decade.  For a franchise that not too long ago was finishing first or second in the division every year, it's quite a fall.

Good

Excellent news, to heck with the Astros.

From now on

They shall be called the ASS-tros.

if only this same thing could

if only this same thing could happen to the deadbirds life would be great. don't get me wrong. i hate houston jsut as much as the next cubs fan but the stl needs a down year or 10.

I thought it was Ass-trolls

I have two things to say to this post:

1) YAY!

2) Bourn has really only had two major league seasons. The first not so good, the second (last year), pretty darn good. He's going to steal a lot of bases, just a matter of whether he has a down year like 2008 (.229 Avg), or a typical year for him. He's shown himself to be a .280-ish hitter over his short career. I just wouldn't refer to it as "catching him during one of his good seasons."

Other than that, spot on, and thank you for bringing a bright and happy article to our day! May Craig Counsell's batting stance forever curse the Astros to futility.

Another thing

Astros have waited a LONG time to rebuild. Instead of developing prospects (assuming they had them), they spent money on aging veterans. This collapse has been a long time coming. As inevitable as a major arm injury for a young pitcher that Dusty Baker is in charge of (sorry Aroldis)

"So far we have an aging

"So far we have an aging overpaid core, few complimentary players, a barren farm system"

"Their stars continue to get older, and they have no one outside of Hunter Pence to carry the torch throughout the decade. For a franchise that not too long ago was finishing first or second in the division every year, it's quite a fall."

Who are we talking about again?

If this is a veiled shot at

If this is a veiled shot at the Cubs, you're pretty far off, particularly in the "barren farm system" part. Also, we've only missed first place ONCE since the last time we won the division.

Cardinals

Satan and his buddy LaRussa will never allow their favorite team to have a down decade. It's nice to dream though, aint it?

Part of that analogy makes

Part of that analogy makes sense for the Cubs, part doesn't. Alot of the Cubs stars are aging, but we have far more complimentary pieces than the Astros, a better farm system, and a better front office (yes I said it).

I'm not convinced the Cubs will ever truly bottom out as they transition from one group of stars to the next. I think they have the resources and existing talent to keep the nadir from being anywhere close to what Houston's is going to be.

I disagree. I don't think we

I disagree. I don't think we can say that the Cubs never will lose themselves amongst rebuilding.

I do, however, think that they never should have years solely devoted to rebuilding. With the kind of payroll they have, the Cubs need to compete every year, especially in what is arguably the weakest division in baseball

Why....

are we discussing the ASS-tros on here?

I like that we are -- the

I like that we are -- the future of the Astros is relevant to the success of the Cubs (if there's one more sucky team in the central, it's advantage Chicago).

Besides, we don't have four Astros articles spread out over the last couple of days; we've got one Astros article and the discussion is self-contained. I

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