Looking back at positives, bright spots and glimmers of hope
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Since the Astros have played 94 games, it’s hardly the halfway point of the season. And, when they return to play on Friday, it’s not exactly accurate to call it the start of the “second half”.
Whether it’s the first half, the second half or just the rest of the season, there’s a lot of water under the bridge as the Astros reflect on a 33-61 start to 2013. And, while the dam hasn’t burst with personalities, .220 batting averages and the reconstruction plan, there are a few places that have sprung leaks. Most people can point to dozens of negatives since games started on, ahem, that April Fool’s Day eve. But through all the darkness, there are some bright spots, some glimmers of hope.
Here are a few after the first 94 games.
- The draft was solid. The first three picks were successful college pitchers and several members of this draft class will crack the Astros Top 20 prospect list soon.
- Jarred Cosart. George Springer. Asher Wojciechowski. ‘Nuf said.
- The coming of age of Jordan Lyles. He’s still only 22, you know.
- The success of Jose Veras. Ain’t no one among us who predicted he would be 18-for-21 in saves.
- Jeff Luhnow and Bo Porter giving players a chance to prove themselves: Brett Wallace, Jimmy Paredes, Brandon Barnes, J.D. Martinez, Chris Carter, Matt Dominguez and others are getting long looks and plenty of opportunity to show their stuff.
- The George Postolos/Reid Ryan changing of the guard began the mending of fences with fans.
- The Jose Altuve signing provided some stability and silenced naysayers — at least temporarily — who believe that Jim Crane isn’t financially committed to the long-term viability of the organization.
Remember any bright spots? Which was the brightest in the first 94 games?
Yes, there were some dark days and you don’t need me to cite those for you. But which one was the darkest, most glaring disappointment?
And, a few observations:
- Biggest surprise of the “first half”: Jose Veras.
- Biggest disappointment: Lucas Harrell. Really thought he was the epitome of consistency after 2012 and that he would be among the least of concerns for Porter.
- Highlight of “second half”: Cosart, Springer, Singleton will catch the attention of fans.
- Second half MVP: Your guess is as a good — or better — than mine.
- Best September callup: The Astros seal the Comcast deal.
- Next player Astros lock up: Castro (believe it or not, he reaches arbitration this winter).