Tha Sports Junkies 101

Houston Astros: New Year, New Team

Houston Astros: New Year, New Team Image via Sportsgraphics36


Houston Astros

Last season, the Houston Astros fell short of making the playoffs with their 84-78 record. This upbeat team showed several signs of promise throughout the season. Jose Altuve and his teammates have begun their young movement across this Houston roster, and are leaving it all out on the field to get them back in the playoffs.

Off-Season Moves:

The Astros got rolling right away in November. They started things off by claiming Norichika Aoki off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.  He will fill in as an outfield option and give them another versatile bat at the bottom of their lineup. Last season he hit .283 and scored 63 runs in 118 games.

Houston went into the off-season making it known that they are looking for starting pitchers. They spent time going after guys like Chris Sale, Rich Hill, and Jose Quintana to begin their pitching needs search. Ultimately it resulted in them signing free agent RHP Charlie Morton. Morton spent most of last season injured and will be fighting for a rotation spot come this spring.

The New York Yankees traded 12-year veteran Brian McCann and cash in exchange for RHP Albert Abreu and RHP Jorge Guzman. McCann will add veteran leadership to these young players as well as give the Houston Astros depth at the catcher position. McCann hit 20 home runs and had 58 runs batted in last season. His 20 home runs was his ninth straight year with at least 20 home runs.

To close out the month of November, the Astros signed free agent right fielder Josh Reddick. Reddick spent last season with the Oakland Athletics before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’ll be happy to be back in the AL West. He struggled the second half of the season. Reddick will be an asset to the outfield as he has been known for his flashy catches.

In early December, 19-year veteran Carlos Beltran signed a one-year, $16 million deal to join the Astros. He previously played for the Astros in 2004. He appeared in 90 games scoring 70 runs, hitting 23 home runs and stealing 28 bases. This past season, Beltran showed no signs of letting up. In his time between the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers, Beltran hit .295 with 33 doubles, 29 home runs, and 93 runs batted in.

Expectations For 2017:

Look for the Astros to be among the best in the American League this season. The team is filled with young stars, solid pitching, and some veterans to guide the team.

Starting pitching hurt the Houston Astros last season. There was not enough consistent quality pitching to allow them to contend. A lot has to do with the rough year from Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel was coming off his 2015 AL Cy Young winning year, but did not bring that version last season. In 26 starts, he went 9-12 with a 4.55 earned run average while striking out 144 batters. He missed the last five weeks of the season due to a shoulder injury. There is no reports on if it will require surgery, but if he can turn it around this season, he’ll be back in the Cy Young race.

Young talent. This team is filled with young players starting with MVP caliber second baseman Jose Altuve. Altuve led his team in hits (216), doubles (46), stolen bases (30), batting average (.338), on-base percentage (.396), slugging percentage (.531), 0n-base percentage plus slugging (.928), and was tied for first in triples (5) and runs batted in (96). George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Alex Bregman round out this youth movement across this Houston line-up, and are showing the league how dangerous this line-up can be.

Evan Gattis offers some pop in the middle of the lineup. He led the team with 32 home runs last season. He will split time between catcher and designated hitter now that McCann is on the team.

McCann and Beltran’s experience will be beneficial to this group of young guys. They will also give manager A.J. Hinch some versatility in creating the line-up card.


The Houston Astros and their staff will continue to look to bolster their roster throughout spring training and the regular season. Talks will continue between teams such as the Chicago White Sox. The Sox have what they want (pitching) and the Astros have what the Sox want (prospects). Keep following this team as the season nears and even come the trade deadline this summer. If Morton and others don’t pan out and they are still contending, look for them to budge and give up a guy like Bregman in a Quintana trade.