The Astros’ pitching staff was something else last season, especially the starting rotation. It is only natural for the coaching staff to also receive praise alongside the players.
Whenever a team wins 103 games in a single season, they often did a lot of things right. For the Astros, a lot of their success belongs to the pitching staff, which was one of the best in baseball last season. Here is where the staff as a whole ranked at the end of the season.
- 3.11 ERA (1st)
- 3.23 FIP (1st)
- 28.5% K% (1st)
- 7.4% BB% (4th-lowest)
- 30.6 fWAR (1st)
Now, let’s take a look at how the starting rotation did by itself.
- 3.16 ERA (1st)
- 3.28 FIP (1st)
- 28.2% K% (1st)
- 7.6% BB% (12th-lowest)
- 22.5 fWAR (2nd)
Obviously, the players deserve most of the praise as they were the ones on the mound pitching. But the coaching staff deserves some attention as they help put those pitchers in the position to succeed. Astros’ pitching coach recently received some love from one of the notable baseball publications, Baseball America.
The Astros are quite fortunate to have Strom, who has a strong reputation in the game, as their pitching coach in recent years. He is one of the key reasons behind the club’s latest run of success, starting in 2015. Although Charlie Morton is now in Tampa while Dallas Keuchel is looking for his next contract on the open market, Strom will still have plenty of talent in Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Collin McHugh atop the starting rotation. I am also curious to see how Josh James, Framber Valdez, Cionel Perez, and Forrest Whitley progress under his tutelage next season if they spend large amounts of time on the major league roster.
There is no reason for the Astros not to have a reliable pitching staff again next season. Sure, the starting rotation depth will be tested next year, but it’ll be fun to see how Strom handles the challenge.