Dusty Baker has quite a description for the 2023 Astros
The Houston Astros are a freight train, steamrolling their way through the AL West, the American League as a whole, and Major League Baseball in general. As manager of the team, Dusty Baker is the conductor of this train.
With the full squad having reported to Spring Training, Baker, never one at a loss for words or unable to provide a soundbite, shared an incredible quote to describe the relentless Astros.
"It's like a king with his army around him. You know what I mean? I like my army, even though I'm a marine."- Dusty Baker
Right, wrong or indifferent, war is an often used analogy throughout sport. If that's the case, no army in sport is as powerful as these Astros.
They've made six straight trips to the ALCS, won the last five AL West titles when a full, 162-game season was played, have won the AL pennant four of the last six years and have won the World Series twice in a six-year span. In the last five full seasons, Houston has exceeded the 100 win plateau on four occassions.
The Astros overwhelm the opposition with dominant starting pitching, an unhittable bullpen and a lineup as deep as any in the game. Somehow, after a 106-win season that resulted in a World Series title. Baker's army upgraded with some new weapons to deploy.
José Abreu takes over for Yuli Gurriel at first base. Abreu racked up a 4.2 bWAR in 2022 and is the 2020 AL MVP. This is a massive upgrade over Gurriel's -0.3 bWAR. Baker will also be able to pencil the professional hitter back in near the top of the lineup, after Michael Brantley re-signed with Houston this offseason. Uncle Mike missed much of 2022 with a shoulder injury, but he brings another lefty bat and a virtual guaranteed .300 batting average back to the lineup.
In the bullpen, Baker has another lefty to send out in the form of Matt Gage. The Astros claimed gage off of waivers from Toronto. Baker loves his lefties, and now has one to utilize with a 1,38 ERA and 0.92 WHIP, albeit in a small sample size.
The Astros are baseball royalty, and as the man in charge, Dusty Baker may really be the king. He's got quite an army to protect H-Town's throne in 2023.