The Houston Astros Coin the Phrase “Earn It.”
The Houston Astros organization has chosen the phrase “Earn It” to lead the 2017 campaign. A lot can be derived from these words. Let’s see how this team can realize them:
Produce on the Mound
One of the biggest questions heading into 2017 is pitching. Do the Houston Astros have enough firepower on the mound with the current staff? The organization has many young arms who bolster great talent, but will it be enough? With Collin McHugh progressing slower than expected, it begs to question if the staff will be ready for April 3rd. McHugh’s setback does not provide optimism as Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers are working through injuries from 2016.
Win the Division
As most of us know, the Astros are in one of the most competitive divisions in the MLB. If the Stros wish to make a statement this year, then winning the division would be a great start. The Astros are yet to break out and be an elite team truly.
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The talent and ability are all within the organization, but the mentality is lagging behind. An AL West title would produce confidence for every player. Winning the division would lay to rest their struggles with the Rangers, and the pressure to perform with expectations.
The Rangers won 15 out of 19 games last year, but A.J. Hinch feels like he has a new team for those boys in Dallas. You can read about this here: I’ve got a new team for those boys in Dallas. What can the Astros do to top the 87.5 wins odds in Vegas right now?
Show Us who You Are
One of the unique things about the Houston Astros is the youth and tenacity of the roster. However, the additions of veteran talents Carlos Beltran, Josh Reddick, and Brian McCann also indicate leadership and experience were needed to help this team reach the next level. It will be most important for this team to show us who they are.
The Astros have many ways of playing this game, and many ways to win games. They have shown us in the past they can be an overpower opponents, and at times finesse their way to a win. A team who can do both, and who can identify themselves as the type of team who can win in any form will go a long way to winning a championship in 2017.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***