The Astros’ rotation three through five.
Where the biggest question lies is in our new comer pitchers. Luis Garcia’s rookie season impressed with his 11 wins and 3.48 ERA.
Garcia’s contract is to be determined pending arbitration as are the following two starters, Valdez and Urquidy. The other big question is with more tape out to study Garcia, will he experience the sophomore slump or ramp up even more, building on last year.
Valdez is the bigger question for the spot in the rotation but with more upside as compared to Garcia. Valdez pitched his second full season but first long season and had plenty to show for it.
The left-hander’s second season didn’t disappoint, as he tossed his way to a 3.14 ERA over 22 starts and an 11-6 record. Valdez lost some steam in the K/9 category coming down from 9.7 to 8.4 and increased slightly his home runs per nine innings from 0.6 to 0.8.
Will Valdez show out this year and that he could potentially be a number two starter if Verlander leaves or will he be a constant number two or three starter?
The Astros could use another solid horse in the rotation and Framber could be their guy, this season will really show what he can or perhaps cannot be for the rotation.
Lastly, the 2020 postseason hero Urquidy who lost two months this past season to injury remains another big question. Urquidy has shown great upside and his 3.62 ERA and 8-3 record last season prove that fact yet Urquidy has never shown out in back to back years.
Urquidy’s five starts in 2020 were not a large enough sample size to say what he will be however on the positive side he has remained consistent with giving up around one home run a game.
One last plug for Urquidy is his WHIP has continuously dropped in his three seasons and in particular he keeps his walks down which greatly aids his ERA which could put him in the top half of the rotation.