Houston Astros: CTH’s July Trade Deadline Preview
By Eric Huysman
What needs do the Astros have?
Jun 30, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher
(60) walks off the mound after the eighth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The most glaring need could be in the Astros starting rotation. The Astros have somehow maintained a decent team ERA with a rotating rotation thus far. No one has staked a claim to the fifth spot in the rotation, as the Astros have only four starting pitchers on the team. In case you missed it, the Astros demoted Brett Oberholtzer after throwing at Alex Rodriguez in frustration. I wrote about it here; The Astros send a message with Oberholtzer’s demotion.
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Some players who could be up for the fifth spot in the rotation when needed could be Dan Straily, Asher Wojciechowski, Roberto Hernandez, Brady Rodgers, and Brian Buchanan among others until Scott Feldman comes back. There is an outside chance that Michael Feliz could make a start or two, but I think the Astros see him as a power arm out of the bullpen.
The Astros are currently pitching two rookies in the starting rotation in Vincent Velasquez and Lance McCullers Jr. With rookie pitchers, especially ones who made the jump from Double-A to the majors. They both show potential to help in the playoffs this year should the Astros get there, but they both might face an innings limitation this year of under 180 innings or so.
With that all being said, the Astros need to add a top of the rotation type of pitcher to co-anchor the rotation with Dallas Keuchel. The Astros are reaping the benefits of having Keuchel going deep into games as well as his leadership in the rotation. Add a number one or two type pitcher to this already good rotation, and it will greatly increase the odds of winning in the playoffs.
It wouldn’t hurt to add another piece to the bullpen, but it is not a high priority.
Next: What major league pieces do the Astros have available for trades?