Astros: Reflection of the 2016 Season
If the Houston Astros 2016 season could be summed into a one phrase then it must be this: missed opportunities.
Once again, the Houston Astros ultimate goal of winning a World Series have been dashed.
Following a promising 2015 season that ended with the team being one win away from advancing to the ALCS, the Astros now start their offseason a month earlier than planned the following year.
Honestly, the 2016 season just feels like a missed opportunity.
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One of those missed opportunities was the AL West crown.
The Texas Rangers have remained the Astros primary rival in the AL. However, that rivalry continues to be one-sided as Houston failed to win more than four games in 2016 against Texas. One could argue that their failure against the Rangers alone costed the Astros a chance at postseason glory.
But the Astros 2016 failures only started with the Rangers.
Between the 7-17 April and the letdown that was the post All-Star break, the Astros just didn’t have the same mojo from last season. For example, the starting rotation that led to the team glory last season clearly struggled. Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh were inconsistent. Lance McCullers and his barking elbow was problematic. The lack of a strong front end of the rotation led to a dependence on Mike Fiers and Doug Foster to step up.
Houston’s bullpen was a whole another issue. The trifecta of Ken Giles, Luke Gregerson, and Will Harris was effective at times, but not so much in certain situations. Tony Sipp took a huge step back in 2016. To be honest, the title of best reliever fell to Chris Devenski.
Then the lineup, which was the Astros strength for large portions of the season. George Springer was finally healthy the entire season. Jose Altuve won the AL batting title. Carlos Correa proved that his rookie season wasn’t a fluke.
But the hitters surrounding these three stars was inconsistent. Sure, Yulieski Gurriel and Alex Bregman stepped up in August and parts of September. And Luis Valbuena was on a tear until his hamstring injury.
However, Carlos Gomez and Colby Rasmus didn’t provide enough support. And there wasn’t hardly any production from first base once again.
To be clear though, the future is still bright for the Astros. Incredibly bright. Up and down the roster you see talented players littered all over. Thanks to this young, inexpensive talent the Astros are set up to be competitive for years to come.
Next: Houston Astros: David Paulino Set for Breakout in 2017
It was just unfortunate that there was no October baseball this year for Houston. Alas, 2016 just wasn’t our year.