Some things to talk about while Ryan is in regular season form...
1) Tony Kemp and ZiPS
Bet against Tony Kemp at your own risk.
The former Vanderbilt second baseman has rocketed through the Astros system since being drafted in 2013. Last year, he posted one of the best hypothetical WAR seasons in the minors last year. He's projected for 1.4
Tony Kemp may not be a star. He may not have a position, as long as Jose Altuve remains in Houston. He may be right at home in the
2) Sporting News on Astros
He had nice things to say about Houston's
At the same time, Spector questions the ultimate impact about all these moves.
For the moves that did get made, there's not a whole lot to take issue with, but there also isn't a move that says, hey, the Astros are
gonnabe for real now
Harsh, but fair. None of the moves were slam dunks. None of the
Despite Jim Crane's recent comments, the Astros will struggle to get to
I just don't see that right now. To get there, Houston would have to have six or seven things go right for young players and see no negative regression from other 2014 breakout guys. They'd have to be lucky with injuries.
All that's possible, sure. But it's not probable. And that's okay.
Houston's building deliberately. They took the next step this winter, adding real, MLB players to make a roster that should be close to
3) Back-end starter choices dwindling
The latest domino to fall was Kyle Kendrick, who signed with Colorado on a one-year deal worth $5.5 million.
It leaves the Astros without that veteran presence in the back of the rotation that they've had the past few years. It also means that, right now, they could be
Good news! About 12 rookie pitchers per season throw 100 or more innings with ERA- numbers better than league average. It's not impossible for the Astros to just be happy with what they have on hand. Dan Straily may be a
Unlike the last few seasons, Houston has the luxury of actually having experienced pitchers competing for the final two rotation spots. Kyle Kendrick for $5.5 million doesn't look so great. Kevin Correia isn't exactly necessary when you've got Peacock and other young options.
Injuries could quickly eat through that depth. A setback for Peacock, ineffectiveness for Straily and one other wild card injury could quickly sap Houston's pitching depth.
Let's say the Astros use 7-10 starting pitchers in 2015. Who are those guys from No. 6 to No. 10? How big a drop will it be from No. 4 in the rotation to that No. 9
Maybe it's not a big deal. The Astros appear to feel comfortable with the depth they have now. At least, they seem to have felt that the price for those back-end starting pitching bargain bin guys wasn't worth their performance.
Let's hope they're right.