We knew this would be a difficult and challenging season for the Astros both on the field and in the standings. The fact that Houston will now have the number one pick for the third straight season signifies that.Jose Altuve
(Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports)
However, that should not have really come as a surprise to anyone. Bo Porter‘s rookie season as manager was challenging on many levels, and at many times he just did not have a lot of talent to work with. The problem though, is that some of the Astros’ struggles were not merely just performance related.
And that is what needs to change for next season.
-7.4 BsR, 22nd overall
Without going into too much statistical detail, BsR is a metric that Fangraphs uses to measure baserunning. As you can tell, it clearly was not a strength for the Astros this season. I know you cannot attribute the Astros’ lack of success solely on this number, but it certainly played a factor.
But if you watched the Astros this season, I’m sure you were easily able to ascertain that Porter’s squad had their difficulties running the bases. To say it has been frustrating would be an understatement. This is something that needs to be rectified going forward.
Going to into next season, I already see some optimism on this issue. Porter has already made it known that he will be taking ownership of this issue in Spring Training from Dave Clark who previously was in charge of it. Reading his comments from Brian McTaggart’s piece on the Astros’ website illustrates how important and serious this issue is.
"“We will place more emphasis on some of the aspects that have happened throughout the course of the year, and it will be addressed from the standpoint of doing different drills that we did not do last spring and issues that will help us be a better baserunning team,” Porter said. “Am I satisfied with our baserunning? No, absolutely not. As we move forward into next year, I’m going to take over the baserunning next year and it will be better.”"
The Astros simply cannot afford to give up any outs, and hopefully we see some progress on this issue in 2014.