Breaking down the future of the Astros starting rotation
With the Houston Astros season upcoming, the question of the starting rotation looms heavy over fans heads. Two of the top talented pitchers on staff were injured throughout most or all of the postseason.
With no Zack Greinke, the Astros are left with recently re-signed Justin Verlander at the ace hole, Lance McCullers Jr. is second and from there it’s the trio of young pitchers: Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia and Jose Urquidy.
The real question is, where will the Astros’ rotation be in one to two years?
Verlander is the Astros ace and has been for the past several seasons. With Greinke’s departure the top talent and experience belongs solely to Verlander who is on a one year context with a players option for more.
With that said that is not a very good position for the future Astros to be in, with McCullers being the only other true veteran pitcher who is a number one or two pitcher at his best. The question must be addressed quickly, who will be the Astros ace in 2023 and 2024?
Verlander will be hard to replace, who last full season he pitched notched 21 wins and a 2.58 ERA leading to a Cy Young award.
McCullers is as good as any number two pitcher around the league but with an injury history, he hasn’t been the most reliable. The right-hander is coming off his best year as a starter with 13 wins and a 3.16 ERA.
McCullers pitches can be devastating when he is on and the Astros have him under contract through 2026. He remains the most consistent and highest performing player guaranteed to be on the Astros next season and beyond and in the top two spots in the rotation.