First of all, I wish each of you a wonderful Christmas leading to a terrific New Year. And leading into this – what are my top 10 Astro related wishes for 2022?
- Typically, this would have to do with success for the home team, but the wish is for peace on earth this year, especially between the MLB and the Players Association and a labor resolution that allows the 2022 season to start on time.
- OK, the next wish is for the Astros to win that untainted title that will take the fans’ souls off the hook. In truth, the way they performed in 2021 should show that this team is talented and does not need to steal signals to succeed. But that World Series win would put an emphatic stamp on what this team can do on their own.
- A wish that GM James Click finds the correct path to filling the Astros’ open shortstop position, whether that is the return of Carlos Correa, an internal fill-in from inside the organization, or picking up a solution from another team. Now how we define correct – that can be looked at in many ways, but hopefully, it brings more value long-term than it costs the team.
- A wish that Lance McCullers Jr. comes back from his injury at full strength for Spring Training and returns to the top of the rotation with the #5 wish receiver on this list.
- I wish that Justin Verlander returns from Tommy John surgery at full strength and returns to the talented workhorse he was from September 2017 through the 2019 season.
- A wish that the real Alex Bregman returns after his wrist surgery and is again the offensive force he was in 2018 and 2019.
- A double wish that the team makes an intelligent choice for Brent Strom’s replacement as pitching coach and that the new pitching coach seamlessly replaces the best that ever coached the pitchers for the Astros.
- A wish that Jake Meyers returns to the team fully healed soon after the start of the season and that he and Chas McCormick push each other to give the Astros a strong centerfield tandem in 2022.
- That the Astros bullpen gels with the addition of Hector Neris, the return of Pedro Baez, the continued improvement of Ryne Stanek and Phil Maton, and the leadership of Ryan Pressly.
- A wish that youngsters Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez take a step forward and become an even more fearsome core of a daunting lineup.
This list could go on and on, but it is your turn to throw out your wishes for this 2021 Christmas….