Five Major Questions for the Houston Astros in 2016

Photo credit - Denis Porov, Getty Images

Photo credit – Denis Porov, Getty Images

Is there enough starting pitching depth?

Reigning Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh make up a formidable 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation, and will be counted on to log heavy innings again in 2016. Prized youngster Lance McCullers will look to take the next step forward after a mostly successful 2015 campaign while Mike Fiers and Scott Feldman round out the projected starting rotation.

Scott Kazmir departed to the Dodgers via free agency, and the rotation depth is very shaky behind their top five pitchers. In the past year, the Astros have traded most of their pitching prospect depth in order to bolster their big-league club, and there are major question marks behind their top five starters. None of their current top pitching prospects have played above AA and appear to be at least a year away from contributing in the majors. Should the Astros encounter an injury in their rotation they would be forced to turn to Dan Straily, Brad Peacock or Asher Wojciechowski. Peacock has the most experience, making 28 starts in 2014, but none of these three candidates have had any sustained success in the big leagues. If multiple injuries were to afflict the Astros starting rotation it could derail their chances for a return to the postseason.

One Response

  1. jake

    Great article Adam – cya at the B&B soon… Dead-on per the starting pitching. You have to think Keuchel will slide back some, and McHugh was a very lucky 19-7 last season… I love McCullers Jr., but it’s a slippery slope in the 4 and 5 spots… Definitely a do or die season for Singleton at 1B, and yes, Reed appears to be the future of the 1B spot for the Astros anyway… Valbuena needs to pick up that dismal BA and OB% at 3B too… I honestly think a healthy Springer would be the best player on the team, and that says a lot when you look at how great Correa and Altuve already are… Go ‘Stros !

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