will be on the team when they are a respectable ball club again (around a .500 team?)
Your answer may depend on when you actually think the Astros will be tolerable to watch around a .500 team again. Most people would probably agree that 2013 is likely to be similar to 2011-2012. Maybe there are some wide-eyed optimists who think 2014 will be a turning point, but my best guess was the Astros should be pushing towards non-vomit inducing baseball in 2015. If they are still this bad after 2014…ugh!
Given the roster turnover the last few years, and the likelihood of even more roster turnover before 2015, it’s hard to predict which of the guys currently on the roster will still be in Houston as the team inches back towards respectability. Using the past as a guide for the future, I compared how many of the 2010 Astros are still with the team. By my count, there were only 7 players from the 2010 roster currently on this season’s roster. I’m fairly certain the number is 7, it may be 6 or 8 or 9, but I couldn’t stomach looking at Carlos Lee’s .246/.291/.417 line from 2010 any longer, so I didn’t double check the number.
Coming up with the guys likely to be around when the team is decent again is tough, because while I think Jed Lowrie could be an above average everyday shortstop, he is a free agent after the 2014 season. Will Lunhow sign an injury-prone, then 31 year-old, not-so-great defensive shortstop to an extension? Will Jason Castro stay on the field enough to be a part of the Astros next respectable team? Will Brett Wallace prove he can hit enough to be a corner infielder? Matt Dominguez was once top third base prospect; will his bat show any signs on promise? Questions abound.
With a high degree of certainty, I think Jose Altuve is in the long-term plans. Bud Norris strikes me as another guy likely to be around in 2015, as he won’t be a free agent until 2016, and there’s value in a guy who can give you close to 175-innings every year and not stink. Other than that, who is guaranteed to be here when the team is decent again? Maybe a couple guys from the Lowrie, Wallace, Castro contingent, maybe Lucas Harrell, and probably a reliever or two off the current roster may be around, but that seems to leave me between 5-9 current ‘Stros still on the roster in 2015. I’ll split the difference of my range and guess that there will be 7 Astros from the 2012 club, on the somewhere around .500 2015 Astros.
Considering the young talent on the farm and the likely additions via free agency in the next few years, how many current Astros can you see being on the team when they push for a .500 season in the AL West?