Commentary

Dis-Astros in for rough 2011 campaign

Houston's pitching isn't all that bad, but atrocious hitting will ruin the team's year

Originally Published: March 17, 2011
By Jay Jaffe | Baseball Prospectus
Carlos LeeRick Scuteri/US PresswireCarlos Lee had a bad 2010 season at the plate, and he isn't projected to do much better this year.

Despite its lack of star power, the Houston Astros' rotation is relatively solid for a team projected to lose 94 games in 2011. While Brett Myers is nobody's favorite personality, he's coming off a surprisingly strong 2010 in which he tossed at least six innings in all but his final start. Wandy Rodriguez and Bud Norris both rebounded from awful beginnings to live up to their reputations as power pitchers who can miss bats. Even J.A. Happ posted a career-best strikeout rate after coming over from the Philadelphia Phillies in the Roy Oswalt trade. Unfortunately, the unit is backed by such a dis-Astro-piece of an offense that PECOTA has ticketed the team for a last-place finish in the NL Central, three games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Last year, the Astros scored just 611 runs, fewer than any other NL team save for the woeful Bucs. They hit a combined .247/.303/.362, with those last two figures representing league lows; once you adjust for their ballpark, their .246 True Average ranked as the league's worst. Having made no upgrades over the winter, they're projected to score a league-low 630 runs. Houston, we have several problems.