Yesterday, I was asked to give someone good news about the 2011 Astros. The question stumped me. Now, I was probably stumped because I was in the middle of reading about standing, and my brain felt like mush, but my list pretty much consisted of Jordan Lyles and checking in on the farm. That's all I could come up with after ten minutes or so of thinking about how to craft my answer via email.
It was an unsatisfactory response to the question, or so I thought at the time. I spent the rest of the day mulling the question over. Hunter Pence? Nothing good to report—especially after looking at his arbitration figures. Same goes for Wandy, and Bourn. Clint Barmes? Nope. Bud Norris? "Well, xFIP...but BB/9..." Jason Castro? Hopefully. Same goes for Brett Wallace. Chris Johnson? Where to begin... And so my night went.
In my response, I explained that I am intrigued by the 2011 season. Not excited, but intrigued. An entire season of quasi-youth is a novelty for Astros fans, but the best is yet to come on the youth front (we hope). I don't think I have stumbled on to things that haven't been discussed this offseason, but it was the first time I saw the forest through the trees.
Six days ago, David queried the huddled masses to see if we could elucidate "the story" of 2011. The most hopeful of the responses were "new owners making a splash signing" and "the trade deadline." I want to rephrase that question today: What is some good news about the 2011 Astros?