The Astros are definitely in the midst of rebuilding. Fans are screaming in agony, and begging for victories. People are consumed with signing free agents, making trades, and various other moves that are actually counter-productive to what the Astros are trying to do.
With all of that said, I’ll say this: I want them to lose. I want them to lose a lot.
Hate me yet? I know some who do for this philosophy, yet this is not a question of my fandom. I’m a season ticket holder, I’m a blogger, my work office and home are decorated in the new (old) blue and orange, and I own more Astros shirts, hats, and jackets than one should be allowed to.Okay, enough about my wardrobe.
Aside from fifteen victories and a position or two in the standings, what is the difference between a 65 win team and an 80 win team? Last I checked neither record gets you into the playoffs.
Secondly, what are one or two moves going to do? Let’s pretend the Astros in their current state traded for Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, who are arguably the best pitcher and best hitter in the game. Verlander would only pitch every fifth day, so what would happen in the other four? Cabrera would have no protection in the lineup, therefore pitchers would pitch around him, giving him very little to hit, thus limiting his production.
These are about the two most drastic and impossible scenarios that could happen, and despite that, they’re still not a playoff team, much less a World Series contender.
Instead, we keep on the current plan. We lose games. We hoard draft picks. We focus on player development.
What is the end result of said actions? Think of some variation of the Cardinals, Braves, or Rangers organization. All three are now deep in pitching, deep in prospects, and perennial contenders. That is the end goal. That’s the path we’re on.
Just a few years ago, the Astros had the worst farm system in baseball. Through a series of trades and excellent drafts, it’s gradually progressing into one of the best. There is a whole generation of players in the various levels of the minor league system that you’ve never heard of yet, but in due time you will see them starting All Star games, winning Silver Sluggers, Gold Gloves or MVPs. They’ll be leading the organization deep into the playoffs and hopefully to the World Series.
We are on the cusp of Jonathan Singleton, George Springer, and Carlos Correa mashing home runs. We are going to be blown away by the unimaginable speed of DeLino DeShields, Jr. We are going to be amazed by the incredible pitching depth that we already have and are adding to.
It’s going to take a few years, but it’s going to be an exciting time to be an Astros fan in the future. However, to reap the benefits of the future, you must endure the present. I am confident enough in the plan of Mr. Luhnow that the long-term success will leave their current state as no more than a distant memory.