Astros: Finding the good in a disappointing 2020 season
Diamonds in the Rough Season
With all the injuries Houston has dealt with this season, there’s been ample opportunity to call up prospects from the minor leagues and give them a shot in the bigs. As expected, some didn’t fare so well while others overachieved for a small period of time. But there have been a few players who have been able to show off their abilities and carve out a key role for this club.
Let’s start with Cristian Javier, a highly touted prospect in the Astros farm system who started the 2019 season in High-A ball and advanced to Triple-A. Javier was pushed up to the starting rotation and has demonstrated the talent and poise to stay there permanently.
Andre Scrubb certainly wasn’t a household name in the Astros farm system, and at first glance he looks more like an old high school football coach then a relief pitcher. But he proved everyone wrong by coming in and pitching solid (yet long) innings and giving up few runs, despite alarmingly high walk numbers.
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Speaking of football, recent call-up Luis Garcia might appear to fit in better playing defensive line for the Dallas Cowboys than throwing pitches in the bigs. But he’s been up to the challenge thus far, coming in with poise and giving solid outings to a team that desperately needed it.
Enoli “Cannoli” Paredes has a flame thrower for an arm, but like all these other young pitchers, he lacked any experience close to this level to be trusted. Yet he too has been able to come in and deliver some key innings against good teams, like he did against the A’s and Padres.
Then there is Blake Taylor, who was part of the offseason Jake Marisnick trade and has been an absolute steal. With Brent Strom in his ear, the southpaw has been effective using his four-seam fastball and his solid-breaking slider. He may be one of their three best relief pitchers and could find himself pitching in the late innings this postseason.
Yes, this season has been very frustrating (some would even say depressing at times), but there have still been a lot of great developments from the Astros. You know what they say: It’s not all about the destination — it’s the journey. But still, with Verlander returning and Houston’s main lineup back and healthy, maybe the season will still end on a positive note. Who knows? Strange things can happen. After all, it is baseball.