It is very constructive to have dialogue, conversation, and to present varying viewpoints. With that in mind, each week I am going to ask a question of our knowledgeable staff and post their responses below. I will also be weighing in with my thoughts. I then ask you, the reader, to offer your opinion and tell us what you think.Brett Wallace
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
Of the Astros currently on the 25 man roster, who will have the best finish to the 2013 season?
I haven’t been very good at making predictions lately, so take this one with a grain of salt. My pick for a strong finish to the season is none other than Brett Wallace.
After the way he started the season, striking out in just about every plate appearance, I think every Astro fan in the world had given up on Wallace. But, after a lengthy stint at AAA, Wallace has come back strong. He seems to have finally found the power stroke that we kept hearing about from his days at Arizona State. He has hit at pretty much every level and has also had a few nice stints in the majors.
Even though his successful stints in the majors have been short, they do provide us with some hope. I’m hoping that at age 26 Wallace has finally put it all together.
I want to first say, that the last two months of the season are an audition for the entire Astros team. Each and every player, aside from Jose Altuve and Jason Castro, is playing for their jobs and roles next season. Going with either of those two to answer this question, would frankly just be too easy.
Robbie Grossman has done nothing but hit since being called back up to the major leagues and it looks like he is here to stay. Despite all of his success so far in August, he is still striking out 34.6% of the time so far this month (entering play Wednesday night).
For as well as Jarred Cosart has done in his first four starts (.96 ERA), and his fifth start giving up two earned runs in five innings against Boston, I think we will still see some regression from the starter. But that does not mean he won’t continue to have success. The two main things that I like about Cosart, is that he has a very comfortable mound presence and has shown the ability to work out of trouble. And that is why Cosart is my selection.
After Wednesday’s start, Cosart’s ERA sits at 1.36. Even if his ERA rose two full runs, his season would be considered a success. But the main thing here, is that so far in five outings, he has been able to stay away from the big inning. And as he gets more major league experience, I think he will perform even better.
Brett Wallace. This was more of a process of elimination than a picked choice. The other “easier” options were Altuve or Castro but both slow down as the season progresses according to their splits. So why Wallace? He’s been hitting (relatively) well since he was called up (around .300 since his June 25th call up), and he knows this could be his last shot with the Astros. At this rate it seems the Astros may wait to call up Jonathan Singleton and give Wallace as many chances as possible for the rest of the 2013 season.
The Astros season has been a tough one to endure but one thing we can focus on in a positive light is the development of young players. The beginning of the season saw former first round pick Jason Castro finally stay healthy and at last become an All-Star catcher. Recent days have seen Robbie Grossman emerge as a potential cog in the Astros’ future outfield after being acquired in the Wandy Rodriguez trade with Pittsburgh last July. But…what of the future?! I think Castro will start to heat up again and finish strong, while Grossman will cool off but also finish with content numbers. The player I’m always drooling about when it comes to the 2013 Astros is 1B/DH Chris Carter.
CC has been only 1 of 7 players to remain on the active roster all season. Carter does sport a troubling .210 average but leads the team with 19 home runs, which ranks 11th in the American League despite Carter possessing less at-bats than all ahead of him except Seattle’s Raul Ibanez. Less AB’s as a result of a substandard defensive hand, but Carter’s long-term role is a power hitting Designated Hitter. However, fans would love to see that average come up from Adam Dunn-Ville.