I am writing this right after salvaging the Baltimore series from being a sweep, so I'm optimistic. I think the Astros get better this season. Here's how:
1. Jon Singleton - maybe June, maybe July, but when he comes up he helps the team
2. Rob Grossman - yes, he'll be up again, and he'll be better
3. Albers - maybe by Memorial Day
4. Jesse Crain: maybe in mid-June
5. Folty: after the All-Star game, at the earliest
Imagine a bullpen that looked like this:
8th Inning: Folty
Gone: Zeid, Williams, Clemens
That team's a lot better than the current one. Yes, our DH is hitting 8th, but if Grossman can get fixed, Springer can calm down, and Singleton can make an impact, that's a solid lineup. No way to fix the shit hole at DH, but a lot better.
The pen is like the lineup: Williams, Zeid, Clemens, etc.. are just mop-up guys, but have been forced into high leverage roles. A bullpen where Qualls is the 4th best reliever is a good pen. He's not a closer.