After a decade of futility, the 2015 Houston Astros returned to relevance in winning 86 games and securing an AL Wild Card berth. Perhaps arriving a year earlier than most had predicted, the young Astros were able to knock of the New York Yankees in their first playoff game since 2005, before falling in heartbreaking fashion in the Division Series to the eventual World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. The Astros relied heavily on the home run and their bullpen, while their stretch run to the playoffs was buoyed by the emergence of young mega-stud Carlos Correa.
During the offseason, the Astros front office was active in exploring numerous avenues to improve the team via free agency or trade. While most of their efforts were fruitless the ‘Stros were able to further bolster their bullpen by acquiring hard throwing Ken Giles from the Philadelphia Phillies. Giles and the rest of his new Astros teammates will look to build on last years’ success with an eye on a return to the playoffs. The Astros are heading into Spring Training with optimism abound, but they do not enter the season without questions.