3 former Houston Astros Players We Wish Still Played For the Team

League Championship - Houston Astros v Tampa Bay Rays - Game Six
League Championship - Houston Astros v Tampa Bay Rays - Game Six / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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While it's difficult to complain too much about a World Series championship, there were still some imperfections on the 2022 Houston Astros and there are arguably even more on the 2023 squad.

As the season opener against the Chicago White Sox on March 30th inches closer and closer, the Astros could certainly use some of their former players on the roster right about now. This becomes even more revalent once you take the injuries to Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley and Lance McCullers Jr. into account.

Let's take a look at 3 former Astros players we wish still played for the team.

We wish Brooks Raley was still on the Astros

This one is tough because while left-handed reliever Brooks Raley was on the Astros, he didn't look all that sharp. The former Cubs prospect came to Houston in 2020 as a 32-year-old failed starter and performed admirably in a 17-game showing that year, posting a 3.94 ERA and 115 ERA+ in 16 innings for the club.

Then, in 2021, he made a then-career-high 58 appearances and while he was an oft-used option, he didn't radiate much confidence on the mound and saw his numbers dip dramatically from the year before. In a total of 49 innings, Raley posted a 4.78 ERA with an ERA+ of 90, meaning he was 10 percent below league-average. His 3.27 FIP suggests that he may have gotten unlucky and saw some of his stats become skewed thanks to the defense behind him, though.

Last year, he made 60 appearances for the Tampa Bay Rays and emerged as a true weapon for them. He had a 2.68 ERA and 136 ERA+ in 53.2 innings of work, striking out 10.2 batters per nine innings and allowing just three home runs all year.

Raley is missed on the Astros primarily because of the fact that there are no left-handed relievers projected to make the Opening Day roster. With the recent demotion of Matt Gage, it seems that the club is going to roll with an all-right-handed bullpen to start the year. Someone of Raley's stature sure would look nice right about now.