Big Changes for the Astros

Astros The Houston Astros are making a big change this year. Not only are they making changes to their logo, but they are moving from the National League Central Division to the American League West Division as well. With that move also come a lot of changes and decisions that need to be made. Some of the questions that need to be answered are: who will play first base? (Currently three people possible), who will be in the outfield? (Several possibilities), who will be the designated hitter?

(Several possibilities), and who will be the number one starter for the Astros? (Two choices: Bud Norris or Lucas Harrell).

Some do not know what to predict for the Astros in the 2013 season. While some are predicting another 100 losses this season, others are a little more optimistic. The Astros are a very young team that is probably destined to finish in last place this season in the division. Whatever the outcome, the Astros will probably be entertaining to watch. This will be a long rebuilding process and will start this season because of the switch to the American League.

Departures:

LHP Rob Rasmussen (Traded to Los Angeles Dodgers), LHP Fernando Abad, RHP Wilton Lopez (Traded to Colorado Rockies), RHP Fernando Rodriguez (Traded to Oakland A’s), OF Jordan Schaefer (Signed off waiver by with Atlanta Braves), SS Jed Lowrie (Traded to Oakland A’s) and C Chris Snyder (Signed as a Free Agent with Washington Nationals).

Arrivals:

LHP Erik Bedard (Signed as a Free Agent, from Pittsburgh Pirates), right-handed pitcher Jose Veras (Signed as a Free Agent, from Milwaukee Brewers), RHP Phil Humber (Claimed off waivers from the Chicago White Sox), RHP Alex White (Acquired from Colorado Rockies), RHP John Ely (Acquired from Los Angeles Dodgers), RHP Brad Peacock (Acquired from Oakland A’s), outfielder Rick Ankiel (Signed as a Free Agent, from Washington Nationals), designated hitter Carlos Pena (Signed as a Free Agent ,from Tampa Bay Rays), 1B Chris Carter (Acquired from Oakland A’s) and catcher Max Stassi (Acquired from Oakland A’s).

Projected Starting Lineup (Note: subject to change due to injuries, performance, trades, Free Agents, etc.):

1. Jose Altuve, 2B

2. Fernando Martinez, RF

3. Chris Carter, LF

4. Carlos Pena, DH

5. Brett Wallace, 1B

6. Justin Maxwell, CF

7. Juan Castro, C

8. Tyler Greene, SS

9. Matt Dominguez, 3B

 

(Note: Subject to change.)

 

Projected Bench:

C Carlos Corporan

IF Marwin Gonzalez

OF Rick Ankiel

OF J.D. Martinez

 

(Note: Subject to change.)

Projected starting rotation:

1. Harrell, RHP

2. Norris, RHP

3. Lyles, RHP

4. Bedard, LHP

5. Humber, RHP

 

(Note: Subject to change.)

Projected bullpen:

Closer RHP Jose Veras

Setup LHP Wesley Wright

Setup RHP Hector Ambriz

Middle Relief LHP Xavier Cedeño

Middle Relief RHP Sam Demel

Middle Relief RHP Josh Fields

Long Relief RHP John Ely

 

(Note: Subject to change.)

Top Astros Prospects:

1B Jonathan Singleton, SS Carlos Correa, OF George Springer, 2B Delino DeShields, Jr., RHP Jarred Cosart, RHP Lance McCullers, RHP Mike Foltynewicz, 3B Rio Ruiz, RHP Nick Tropeano, SS Nolan Fontana, SS Jonathan Villar, OF Domingo Santana, RHP Vincent Velasquez, RHP Asher Wojciechowski, C Max Stassi, RHP Brad Peacock, RHP Kevin Comer, OF Robbie Grossman, RHP Joe Musgrove, C Carlos Perez

Trade Talk:

The Astros are still looking to make trades to try and get quality prospects to build for the future since they are in a new league and division. No surprises if they make more moves before start of season.

American League West Outlook (2013):

The Astros will probably end in last place in the division this season. They are young and building for the future. The Anaheim Angels are to be reckoned with this year because of the pieces they added in the off-season, like OF Josh Hamilton, LHP Jason Vargas, and so on. The Angels gain, is the Texas Rangers loss. The Rangers will still compete for the division title, minus a few pieces of the puzzle. The Seattle Mariners are still on the outside looking in, but added some pieces that could help put them over the top in the division.  Finally, but not least, the Oakland A’s, the defending division champs will still be top competitor in the division. The A’s still having something to prove despite winning the division and getting into the playoffs. Stay tuned. This could be the best race division-wise in 2013.

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