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Astros: The Development of Young Pitching is Key

codypoage
Sep 25, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Joe Musgrove (59) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Joe Musgrove (59) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Just imagine if the Astros had an unlimited cash flow? I know, that is a pipe dream with this current ownership group.

The optimal path for the Astros heading into the offseason is to trade for a Chris Sale or Chris Archer. But the price tag associated with both star pitchers could be too much to handle.

And while it is imperative that Houston adds another starting pitcher, it is also worth mentioning that there is talent waiting-in-the-wings. Pitchers like Joseph Musgrove, Michael Feliz, Francis Martes, Brady Rodgers, and Chris Devenski could contribute to the Astros for years to come. In what role has yet to be determine.

The question now for the Astros is whether the willingness is there to let these guys develop.

That is the conundrum that this team faces today as the 2017 season is now on the horizon. Don’t forget that this team will be counted as one of the contenders next year. Patience may be at a premium for a team that is expected to compete now.

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But for the good of the Astros future, then it may be wise to allow these young pitchers time to figure the majors out. 2017 could be the season that someone like a Musgrove, Devenski, Rodgers, or Feliz take that huge step in their development. Or maybe Martes bursts onto the scene as one of the next best young starters in baseball?

Is that too optimistic for these guys?

Of course, that path doesn’t solve the team’s need for a for-sure ace pitcher next season. Seeing Sale or Archer in an Astros uniform to pair with Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, and Lance McCullers would be a sight for sore eyes. That starting rotation when healthy and fully operational would automatically be one of the best in baseball.

Once again, that could be too optimistic? And what if, don’t you love what if’s, the Astros make a trade and end up regretting it while having nothing to show for it? That is probably not a road to venture down for the sake of one’s stress level.

Next: Astros 2016 Audit Series: Three Hitting Statistics

At the end of the day, this team has the young talent to develop. Of course, there is an obvious need at the top of the rotation. The path that the Astros choose will have short- and long-term ramifications.

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