New owner. New front office. New coaching staff. New players. New league. New uniforms. About the only thing that hasnn’t changed for the Astros in the last two years is their play-by-play announcer. Bill Brown will be back for his 27th season at the microphone, albeit in a diminished role. While in San Antonio Thursday with the Astros CAREavan, Brown did an interview with Geoff Sheen of Ticket 760 AM. Brown talked about how the Astros are starting a new era in a new league and how difficult it will be.
Yesterday Sheen interviewed Rich Bocchini of Comcast SportsNet Houston, discussing the Regional Sports Network’s inability to reach agreements with most of the major carriers in Houston and other areas, including San Antonio, that are traditionally “Astros Country”.
Today’s conversation with Brown focused squarely on the team and their on the field prospects for the 2013 season. When asked about players to keep an eye on this season Brown started with the obvious, Jose Altuve. Brown is also high on third-baseman Matt Dominguez. He also thinks Jed Lowrie may be ready to step up and fill a leadership role on the club.
When asked what it would take for 2013 to be considered a success, Brown had an interesting comeback. He said this season will be key in determining which young players can establish themselves as everyday big leaguers. I agree with Brown’s assessment. It looks like we are in for another tough season and it’s time to see who will make the cut. Brown mentioned Jordan Lyles and Dominguez as a couple of key players with a chance to prove they belong in the big leagues.
Last year Jose Altuve and J.D. Martinez were in a similar position. Altuve took advantage of the opportunity and became an All-Star. Martinez got off to a fast start but faded quickly. We’ll see what he can do with a second chance.